Emergency Surgery for Acute Type A Aortic Dissection in Octogenarians

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Emergency surgery for acute type A dissection is associated with a high mortality rate in aged patients. This study was designed to explore perioperative risk factors and prognosis in octogenarians with acute type A aortic dissection.


Twenty-four octogenarians, of 134 consecutive patients with acute type A dissection between 1995 and 2005 who underwent emergency surgery, were reviewed. The median age was 82 years (80 to 90); the patients were 10 men and 14 women. All 24 patients underwent conservative tear-oriented surgery under deep hypothermic circulatory arrest with cerebral perfusion; the procedures were 23 ascending aortic replacements and one entire arch replacement.


The hospital mortality rate was 13% (3 of 24 patients), without statistical significance compared with 6% in patients younger than 80 years. The late mortality rate was 38% (9 of 24 patients), with significance compared with 9% in the other patients. Five- and 10-year survivals ware 55% and 42%, respectively, compared with 83% and 73%, respectively (p= 0.0013), in the other patients. Univariate and multivariate analysis demonstrated that age 80 or greater was not an independent risk factor of hospital death. Risk factors of late death in younger-aged patients were pneumonia and reoperation.


Emergency surgery for octogenarians with acute type A aortic dissection was successfully performed using a conservative intimal tear-oriented procedure, resulting in satisfactory early and late survival. Aggressive surgical treatment is mandatory for improving the outcome of this medical emergency in octogenarians.

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