Is total arch replacement associated with an increased risk after acute type A dissection?


The surgical strategy for acute type A aortic dissection (AADA) usually consists of reconstruction of the tear-lesion in the affected part of the ascending aorta. The optimal strategy either to replace the ascending aorta (AAR) or to replace the ascending aorta and the total aortic arch (TAAR) is still under debate. Our study compares the 30-day mortality between AAR and TAAR in AADA surgery.


In 292 (86.1%) patients AAR and in 47 (13.9%) patients TAAR was performed for emergent AADA. Patients were older (P=0.049) in the AAR group. The median log Euro-SCORE was 25.5% (12.7; 41.7) for AAR and 19.7% (11.7; 32.2) for the TAAR patient cohort (P=0.12). Operative time, cardiopulmonary bypass- (CPB), cross-clamp- and ischemic time were significantly longer in the TAAR group (P<0.001). The overall 30-day mortality-rate was 17.7% (n=60) but was not significantly different between the two groups (P=0.27). Forty-nine (16.8%) patients died in the AAR and 11 patients (23.4%) in the TAAR group. After propensity-score matching, no difference in mortality was seen between the subgroups as well (P=0.44). Multivariable analysis identified the Euro-SCORE, long operation-time, postoperative dialysis and arrhythmia and administration of red blood cell concentrates as risk factors for 30-day mortality, but not for TAAR versus AAR.


The therapeutic goal in AADA surgery should be the complete restoration of the aorta to avoid further long-term complications and re-operations. Though 30-day mortality and postoperative co-morbidity for AAR are comparable to those in TAAR after treatment of AADA in our analysis, decision-making for the surgical strategy should weigh the operative risk of TAAR against the long-term outcome.


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