Long-term outcomes of frozen elephant trunk for type A aortic dissection in patients with Marfan syndrome

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The use of the frozen elephant trunk (FET) technique for repair of type A aortic dissection (TAAD) in Marfan syndrome (MFS) is controversial. We seek to evaluate the efficacy of FET and total arch replacement (TAR) for TAAD in patients with MFS.


The early and long-term outcomes were analyzed for 106 patients with MFS (mean age, 34.5 ± 9.7 years) undergoing FET + TAR for TAAD.


Operative mortality was 6.6% (7 of 106). Spinal cord injury and stroke occurred in 1 patient each (0.9%), and reexploration for bleeding occurred in 6 patients (5.7%). Extra-anatomic bypass was the sole risk factor for operative mortality and morbidity (odds ratio [OR], 7.120; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.018-49.790; P = .048). Follow-up was complete in 97.0% (96 of 99), averaging 6.3 ± 2.8 years. Late death occurred in 17 patients. Patients with acute TAAD were less prone to late death than those with chronic TAAD (OR, 0.112; 95% CI, 0.021-0.587; P = .048). Twelve patients required late reoperation, including thoracoabdominal aortic repair in 8, thoracic endovascular aortic repair for distal new entry in 3, and coronary anastomotic repair in 1. At 5 years, survival was 86.6% (95% CI, 77.9%-92.0%) and freedom from reoperation was 88.8% (95% CI, 80.1%-93.4%), and at 8 years, survival was 74.1% (95% CI, 61.9%-83.0%) and freedom from reoperation was 84.2% (95% CI, 72.4%-91.2%). In competing risks analysis, mortality was 4% at 5 years, 18% at 8 years, and 25% at 10 years; the respective rates of reoperation were 10%, 15%, and 15%; and the respective rates of survival without reoperation were 86%, 67%, and 60%. Survival was significantly higher in patients who underwent root procedures during FET + TAR (P = .047). Risk factors for reoperation were days from diagnosis to surgery (OR, 1.160; 95% CI, 1.043-1.289; P = .006) and Bentall procedure (OR, 12.012; 95% CI, 1.041-138.606; P = .046).


The frozen elephant trunk and total arch replacement procedure can be safely performed for TAAD in MFS with low operative mortality, favorable long-term survival and freedom from reoperation. A concomitant Bentall procedure was predictive of better long-term survival and increased risk for late reoperation. These results argue favorably for the use of the FET + TAR technique in the management of TAAD in patients with MFS.

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