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Surgery. 2007 Oct;142(4):524-8; discussion 528.e1.

A contemporary analysis of outcomes for operative repair of type A aortic dissection in the United States.

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Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Erratum in

  • Surgery. 2008 Feb;143(2):301.



Despite recent advances, reported mortality rates after repair for acute type A aortic dissection vary from 5% to 30%. This study was conducted to assess cross-sectional mortality after operative repair of type A dissection in the United States, and to determine whether a volume-outcome relationship exists for this operative procedure.


Data were obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, which is a cross-sectional administrative database incorporating 20% of all annual US hospital discharges. From 1995 to 2003, a cohort of 3013 patients with thoracic or thoracoabdominal dissection who underwent aortic resection was identified. Patient demographics, hospital volumes, and teaching status were included as independent variables.


The mean age was 62 +/- 14 years (65% male). In-hospital mortality for the study period was 26%, but it decreased from 27% in 1995 to 23% in 2003 (P = .03). A significant correlation was found between procedural volume and mortality (P < .001). By multivariate analysis, independent predictors of mortality included increasing age (P < .0001) and operation at a non-teaching hospital (P = .002).


Operative mortality for repair of ascending aortic dissection in the United States has shown modest temporal improvements. More importantly, operative mortality seems to be dependent on the arena of care.

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