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World J Surg. 2001 Dec;25(12):1500-6.

Determinants of early and late outcome after surgery for type A aortic dissection.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Centro Cardiologico I. Monzino Foundation, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, University of Milan, Milano, Italy.


The aim of this study was to identify the most important variables associated with early and late mortality in patients operated on for type A aortic dissection over a 15-year period. From January 1984 to March 1999, 110 patients underwent surgery for type A aortic dissection. The 88.1% of patients had an acute type A dissection (AD) and 11.8% had a chronic dissection (CD). Cardiac tamponade and shock occurred in 21.8% and 14.5% of the patients, respectively. The location of the primary intimal tear was in the ascending aorta in 70.9% of cases, in the arch in 17.2%, and in the descending aorta in 7.2%. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify non-embolic variables independently correlated to in-hospital death. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses and hazard function for death risk were used to analyze factors influencing overall and surgical survival. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 20.9% (23/110 patients), being 9% for CD and 21.6% for AD. Emergent procedures had an in-hospital mortality rate of 47.6%, whereas nonemergent operations had an in-hospital mortality rate of 13.7% (p < 0.01). Univariate analysis revealed 41 preoperative and operative variables, including age (years), age >70 years, remote myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular dysfunction, diabetes, preoperative renal failure, shock, cardiopulmonary bypass time (minutes), emergency operation, as factors associated to in-hospital death (p < 0.05). Stepwise logistic regression analysis for in-hospital death selected as independent predicting variables (p < 0.05) remote myocardial infarction [p = 0.006, odds ratio (OR) = 1.9], preoperative renal failure (p = 0.031; OR = 0.8), shock (p = 0.001; OR = 3.1), and age >70 years (p = 0.007; OR = 1.7). Follow-up ranged from 9 to 172 months (median 78 months), with Kaplan-Meier survivals for all the patients and hospital survivors of 42% and 54% at 10 years, respectively. Cox regression analysis has identified postoperative stroke [relative risk (RR) = 3.7; p = 0.012), intimal tear in the aortic arch (RR = 2.3; p = 0.036), and postoperative renal failure (RR = 4.5; p = 0.007) as independent predictors of reduced survival at follow-up. When this kind of analysis was performed on hospital survivors only, preoperative renal dysfunction (RR = 1; p = 0.013), reoperation (RR = 1.7;p = 0.004) and intimal tear in the aortic arch (RR = 1.2; p = 0.002) emerged as risk factors. The actuarial freedom from reoperation was 85.4% at 5 years. Multiple factors still influence early and late survival after surgery for type A aortic dissection. Preoperative renal impairment both affects early and late outcome. Early postoperative course affects late outcome in hospital survivors. The presence of the intimal tear in the aortic arch has a negative impact on late survival.

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