Persistent malperfusion after central aortic repair in acute type I aortic dissections

Jack E. Doenges, Amy B. Reed, Stephen Huddleston, Qi Wang, R. James Valentine

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1 Scopus citations


Objective: Acute dissection involving the ascending aorta and extending beyond the innominate artery (DeBakey type I) may be associated with acute ischemic complications owing to branch artery malperfusion. The purpose of this study was to document the prevalence of noncardiac ischemic complications associated with type I aortic dissections that persisted after initial ascending aortic and hemiarch repair, necessitating vascular surgery intervention. Methods: Consecutive patients presenting with acute type I aortic dissections between 2007 and 2022 were studied. Patients who underwent initial ascending aortic and hemiarch repair were included in the analysis. Study end points included the need for additional interventions after ascending aortic repair and death. Results: There were 120 patients (70% men; mean age, 58 ± 13 years) who underwent emergent repair for acute type I aortic dissections during the study period. Forty-one patients (34%) presented with acute ischemic complications. These included 22 (18%) with leg ischemia, 9 (8%) with acute strokes, 5 (4%) with mesenteric ischemia, and 5 (4%) with arm ischemia. After proximal aortic repair, 12 patients (10%) had persistent ischemia. Nine patients (8%) required additional interventions for persistent leg ischemia (n = 7), intestinal gangrene (n = 1), or cerebral edema (craniotomy, n = 1). Three other patients with acute stroke had permanent neurologic deficits. All other ischemic complications resolved after the proximal aortic repair despite mean operative times exceeding 6 hours. Comparing patients with persistent ischemia with those whose symptoms resolved after central aortic repair, there were no differences in demographics, distal extent of dissection, mean operative time for aortic repair, or need for venous-arterial extracorporeal bypass support. Overall, 6 of the 120 patients (5%) suffered perioperative deaths. Hospital deaths occurred in 3 of the 12 patients (25%) with persistent ischemia vs none of 29 patients who had resolution of the ischemia after aortic repair (P =.02). Over a mean follow-up of 51 ± 39 months, no patient required an additional intervention for persistent branch artery occlusion. Conclusions: One-third of patients with acute type I aortic dissections had associated noncardiac ischemia, prompting a vascular surgery consultation. Limb and mesenteric ischemia most often resolved after the proximal aortic repair and did not require further intervention. No vascular interventions were performed in patients with stroke. Although the presence of acute ischemia at presentation did not increase hospital or 5-year mortality rates, persistent ischemia after central aortic repair seems to be a marker for increased hospital mortality after type I dissections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1618-1624
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Society for Vascular Surgery


  • Malperfusion
  • Type I aortic dissection
  • Vascular intervention


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