Burden and causes of readmissions following initial discharge after aortic syndromes

J Vasc Surg. 2021 Mar;73(3):836-843.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2020.05.080. Epub 2020 Jul 30.


Background: Aortic syndromes, including aortic dissection (AD), intramural hematoma (IMH), and penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU), carry significant morbidity and mortality; few data exist regarding burden and causes of related rehospitalizations following initial discharge.

Methods: The study was conducted using the Rochester Epidemiology Project. All adult residents (age ≥18 years) with an incident diagnosis of AD, IMH, and PAU (1995-2015) were identified from the Rochester Epidemiology Project using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Tenth Revision codes and Hospital Adaptation of the International Classification of Diseases, second edition, codes. Assessment of any-cause (aortic and cardiovascular), aorta-related, or cardiovascular-related readmissions was determined following date of hospital discharge or diagnosis date (ie, the index event).

Results: A total of 117 patients of 130 cases of AD, IMH, and PAU included in the initial study population survived the index event and were evaluated. The median age of diagnosis was 74 years, and 70 (60%) were male. A total of 79 patients (68%) experienced at least one readmission. The median time to first any-cause, cardiovascular, and aortic readmission was 143, 861, and 171 days, respectively. The cumulative incidence of any-cause readmissions at 2, 4, and 10 years was 45%, 55%, and 69%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of cardiovascular readmissions at 2, 4, and 10 years was 15%, 20%, and 28%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of aortic readmissions at 2, 4, and 10 years was 38%, 46%, and 59%, respectively. Overall survival for the entire cohort at 2, 4, and 10 years was 84%, 75%, and 50%, respectively.

Conclusions: Readmissions following initial discharge after diagnosis of aortic syndrome are common and not different across specific disease types. Whereas aorta-related rehospitalizations occur in more than half of patients but tend to be earlier, cardiovascular-related rehospitalizations tend to happen later in about one-third of patients. This may suggest the need for early follow-up focused on aortic complications, whereas later follow-up should address cardiovascular events.

Keywords: Aortic syndrome; Epidemiology; Population based; Readmissions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm / epidemiology
  • Aortic Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection / epidemiology
  • Aortic Dissection / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hematoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematoma / epidemiology
  • Hematoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Patient Readmission*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulcer / diagnostic imaging
  • Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Ulcer / therapy*