Background: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) includes aortic dissection (AD), intramural hematoma (IMH) and penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU) and confers high rates of aortic related events. However, the risk of cardiovascular (CV) events in this patient group is unknown. The aim of this study was to define the rates of CV events in an incident cohort of AAS patients.
Methods: Medical records and death certificates of all Olmsted County, MN residents with a diagnosis of AAS from 1995-2015 were reviewed and compared to age- and sex- matched population controls. Primary outcome was non-aortic CV mortality. Secondary outcome was overall mortality and first time non-fatal CV event (myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure (HF) or stroke). Events were analyzed using Cox proportional hazards regression adjusting for comorbidities.
Results: Of 133 patients with AAS (77 AD, 21 IMH, 35 PAU) 57% were male, median age was 72 (SD 14) and median follow-up was 10 years. Overall survival in AAS cases and controls was 62% versus 83% at 5 years and 44% versus 60% at 10 years (adj HR 1.8, p<.001, 95% CI 1.3-2.4). CV death occurred in 21 (29%) of 73 AAS decedents due to HF (9), MI (5), other cardiac causes (5), stroke (1) and peripheral vascular disease (1). CV-related survival at 5 and 10 years after AAS diagnosis (91% and 81%) was not significantly different from controls (95% and 86%) after adjustment for comorbidities (adj HR 1.8, p=.1, 95% CI 0.9-3.6). AAS was associated with an increased risk of any first time CV event (adj HR 2.6, p<.001, 95% CI 1.6-4.4; Figure), first time diagnosis of MI (adj HR 2.8, p<.001, 95% CI 1.7-4.7) and HF (adj HR 3.2, p<.001, 95% CI 1.6-6.2) but not stroke. When excluding acute events within 14 days of diagnosis, AAS was still associated with a significantly higher mortality (adj HR 1.6, p=.011, 95% CI 1.1-2.4) and an increased risk of any first time CV event (adj HR 2.2, p=.018, 95% CI 1.1-4.1), first time MI (adj HR 2.2, p=.012, 95% CI 1.2-4.1) and HF (adj HR 2.9, p=.006, 95% CI 1.4-6.2) but not stroke.
Conclusions: AAS is associated with a higher overall mortality and an increased risk of any first time CV event, first time MI and HF that persists beyond the acute phase. These data highlight the risk of CV events among those with AAS and implicate the need for long-term cardiovascular management in these patients.