Characterizing the young patient with aortic dissection: results from the International Registry of Aortic Dissection (IRAD)

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Feb 18;43(4):665-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2003.08.054.


Objectives: The goal of this study was to better characterize the young patient with aortic dissection (AoD).

Background: Aortic dissection is unusual in young patients, and frequently associated with unusual presentations.

Methods: Data were collected on 951 patients diagnosed with AoD between January 1996 and November 2001. Two categories of patients, <40 years and >or=40 years, were compared using chi-square cross tabulations for categorical and Student t test for continuous data.

Results: Sixty-eight patients (7%) with AoD were <40 years of age. Compared with patients >or=40 years, younger patients were less likely to have a prior history of hypertension (p < 0.05); however, younger patients were more likely to have Marfan syndrome, bicuspid aortic valve, and prior aortic surgery (all, p < 0.05). Clinical presentations in the two age groups were similar; however, younger patients were less likely to be hypertensive (25% vs. 45%, p = 0.003). The proximal aortas of young AoD patients were larger (all, p < 0.05) compared with older patients. These differences in aortic size between age groups were not entirely related to Marfan syndrome. Mortality among young patients was similar to patients >or=40 years of age (22% vs. 24%, p = NS), irrespective of the site of dissection.

Conclusions: Compared with older patients with AoD, young patients have unique risk factors for dissection: Marfan syndrome, bicuspid aortic valves, and larger aortic dimensions. Surprisingly, the mortality risk for young AoD patients is not lower than older AoD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / complications
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / diagnosis
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / epidemiology*
  • Aortic Dissection / complications
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnosis
  • Aortic Dissection / epidemiology*
  • Aortic Valve / abnormalities
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marfan Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors