Malperfusion rather than merely timing of operative repair determines early and late outcome in type A aortic dissection

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Although generally better outcomes are reported in patients undergoing early repair of type A aortic dissection, patients who survive the first 48 hours self-select themselves toward better outcomes as well. Malperfusion is another important determinant of outcome in these patients. The aim of this study was to examine the hypothesis that malperfusion, not the timing of operation, is the dominant determinant of outcome in repair of type A aortic dissection.


A total of 205 patients underwent operative repair of acute type A aortic dissection in our hospital over a 17-year period. The time from symptom onset to surgical repair was reliably established in 152 cases. Patients were grouped into those who had undergone surgery within 12 hours of symptom onset (early surgery group; n = 72 [47%]) and those who underwent surgery beyond 12 hours of symptom onset (late surgery group; n = 80 [53%]).


Thirty-day mortality was similar in the 2 groups (early surgery: 19.4% [95% confidence interval [CI] 12.0%-30.6%]; late surgery: 13.8% [95% CI, 7.9%-23.5%]; P = .08). The log-rank test for equality of survivor functions was 0.08. However, malperfusion with hemodynamic compromise was more common in the early surgery group (47% vs 31%; P = .029) and was identified as an independent predictor of long-term mortality (hazard ratio, 2.65; 95% CI, 1.21–5.79; P = .014).


Malperfusion at presentation rather than timing of intervention is the major risk factor of death both in the hospital and at long-term follow-up in patients undergoing surgery for type A aortic dissection.

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