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Surgery. 2006 Oct;140(4):532-9; discussion 539-40. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

Acute limb ischemia associated with type B aortic dissection: clinical relevance and therapy.

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Section of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich, USA.



The goal of the current study is to characterize the presentation, therapy, and outcomes of acute limb ischemia (ALI) associated with type B aortic dissection (AoD).


The prospective/retrospective International Registry for Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD) database and a single institutional database were queried for all patients with type B AoD from 1996 to 2002. Univariate and multivariate statistics were used to delineate factors associated with morbidity and mortality outcomes.


According to the IRAD data (n = 458), the mean age of patients was 64 years, and 70% were men. The overall mortality was 12%; of these, 6% had ALI. Pulse (3-fold) and neurologic deficits (5-fold) were more common in those with ALI (P < .001). Endovascular, but not surgical therapy, was more commonly performed in patients with ALI compared with those without ALI (31% vs 10%, P = .004). No difference in age, race, gender, or origin of dissection was observed. ALI was associated with acute renal failure (odds ratio [OR] = 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-7.1; P = .048) and acute mesenteric ischemia/infarction (OR = 6.9; 95% CI 2.5-20; P < .001). Adjusting for patient characteristics, ALI was associated with death (3.5; 95% CI 1.1-10; P = .02). The single institution analysis revealed similar patient demographics and mortality in 93 AoD patients, of whom 28 had ALI. Aortic fenestration or aorto-iliac stenting was the primary therapy in 93%; surgical bypass was used in 7%. Limb salvage was 93% in those with ALI at a mean of 18 months follow-up. The number of organ systems with malperfusion was 2-fold higher at aortography than suspected preprocedure (P = .002). By stepwise regression modeling, mortality was greater in those not taking a beta-blocker (OR = 19; 95% CI 3.1-111; P = .001).


ALI secondary to AoD is predictive of death and visceral ischemia. Endovascular therapy confers excellent limb salvage and allows diagnosis of unsuspected visceral ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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