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Vasa. 2010 Aug;39(3):219-28. doi: 10.1024/0301-1526/a000033.

Quality of life after acute type B dissection in the era of thoracic endovascular aortic repair.

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University Hospital Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



Conservative management of acute type B aortic dissection is currently being challenged by primary thoracic endovascular aortic repair. Aim was to assess outcome and quality of life after these different approaches using an adjusted standard population as benchmark.


Observational study of a prospectively collected (January 2000 to December 2005) consecutive series of 87 patients with acute type B aortic dissection. Patients were 63 +/- 13 years old and 68 were men (78.2 %). Seventy-two were managed conservatively (83 %) and 15 invasively (12 by endovascular aortic repair). Follow-up was 36 +/- 19 months. Endpoints were early and late morbidity and mortality, and long-term quality of life as assessed by the Short Form health survey questionnaire.


Patient cohorts were similar regarding age, risk profile and local disease. In the conservative cohort, four patients died during early (5.6 %) and eight during long-term follow-up (cumulative four years survival rate 79 %). Thirty-two patients needed secondary surgical management (44 %), i.e. delayed aortic repair (n = 11), or interventions on adjacent aortic sections or major branches (n = 21). In the surgical cohort no patient died, and no repeated interventions were necessary after the peri-operative period. Long-term quality of life scores were 100 (69-115) in conservatively and 94 (75-124) in invasively managed patients. Normal scores range from 85 to 115.


Primary endovascular management of uncomplicated acute type B dissection is safe and leads to excellent long-term results, whereas secondary interventions were required with high incidence after initial conservative management. Long-term quality of life, however, returned to normal with any successful treatment strategy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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