Impact of a multidisciplinary acute aortic dissection program: Improved outcomes with a comprehensive initial surgical repair strategy

Published:September 07, 2021DOI:



      As part of a multidisciplinary aortic dissection (AD) program, a more comprehensive repair strategy for patients with acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) and frequent endografting for suitable patients with type B aortic dissection (ATBAD) was adopted in 2015. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of these changes.


      This study is a retrospective review of a prospective database containing all patients treated for acute AD between 2003 and 2020. Patients were grouped based on differing repair strategies (pre 2015 vs post 2015). Clinical characteristics, procedural details, and survival data were analyzed.


      During this time, 323 patients (210 pre, 113 post) were treated for acute AD at our institution. There were 221 patients with ATAAD (149 pre, 72 post) and 102 patients with ATBAD (61 pre, 41 post). The majority (60%) were males, with a mean age of 65.9 ± 15.2 years. There were no differences in cardiovascular risk factors or demographics between the groups. After 2015, fewer patients with ATAAD underwent medical management alone (15% pre vs 4% post; P = .014), and most that underwent surgical intervention had a total arch or aggressive hemiarch repair (27% pre vs 78% post; P < .001). Seventy-four patients (73%) with ATBAD were treated medically, whereas 28 underwent medical management and endografting (23% pre, 34% post; P = .214). For all patients with AD, 30-day mortality was significantly improved (26% pre vs 10% post; P < .001) especially among patients who underwent ATAAD surgery (23% pre vs 9% post; P = .018). Three-year Kaplan-Meier survival estimates showed survival improvement among patients with ATAAD (Log rank P-value = .019); however, this improvement does not extend to type B dissections or the overall cohort. A survival analysis landmarked to 30 days after initial presentation showed no statistical difference in survival from 30 days to 3 years post-presentation.


      A more comprehensive repair strategy in the management of patients with acute AD resulted in improved overall patient outcomes and significantly decreased 30-day mortality, even though more complex repairs were performed. The long-term impact of the changes made to our program remains to be evaluated.


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