Critical appraisal of multidimensional CT measurements following acute open repair of type A aortic dissection

J Card Surg. 2020 Mar;35(3):634-644. doi: 10.1111/jocs.14446. Epub 2020 Feb 6.


Introduction: To identify patients with aneurysmal degeneration of the native aorta following type A aortic dissection (TAAD), reproducible serial measurements of aortic dimensions are critical. We used a systematic workflow for measuring aortic geometry following TAAD, using computed tomography angiography data, and test its reproducibility.

Methods: The workflow for aortic measurements included centerline generation, luminal diameter, and area measurement at six anatomically defined locations along the aorta and luminal volumetric measurements in the descending aorta. Two independent observers measured the aortic geometry in 20 surgically repaired TAAD patients, preoperatively and at 3 months follow-up. To test reproducibility, intraobserver and interobserver agreement scores were analyzed using a concordance correlation coefficient (CCC).

Results: The interobserver agreement scores of the diameter, area, and volumetric measurements in the descending aorta were acceptable. The agreement scores of the area measurements were highest, with CCCs ranging from 0.909 to 0.984. Luminal diameter measurements scored lower than luminal area measurements and were least reproducible at the mid aortic arch (CCC < 0.886). Overall, intraobserver agreement scores were better than interobserver agreement scores (SD of mean difference was 1.89 vs 1.94 for intraobserver vs interobserver diameter measurements, and 0.61 vs 0.66 for area measurements).

Conclusion: Although overall reproducibility was acceptable in descending aortic measurements, our results show that it remains challenging to reliably measure luminal diameters, compared with areas. To aid identification of early adverse remodeling following acute TAAD, novel two- and three-dimensional measurement techniques are needed that capture locoregional changes in the false lumen and true lumen morphology more accurately.

Keywords: 3D imaging; angiographic computed tomography; diameter; false lumen; interrater agreement; morphology; type A dissection.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aorta / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aorta / pathology*
  • Aortic Dissection / pathology*
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*