The Stanford classification of aortic dissection was described in 1970. The classification proposed that type A aortic dissection should be surgically repaired immediately, whereas type B aortic dissection can be treated medically. Since then, diagnostic tools and management of acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) have undergone substantial evolution. This paper evaluated historical changes of ATAAD repair at Stanford University since the establishment of the aortic dissection classification 50 years ago. The surgical approaches to the proximal and distal extent of the aorta, cerebral perfusion methods, and cannulation strategies were reviewed. Additional analyses using patients who underwent ATAAD repair at Stanford University from 1967 through December 2019 were performed to further illustrate the Stanford experience in the management of ATAAD. While technical complexity increased over time, post-operative survival continued to improve. Further investigation is warranted to delineate factors associated with the improved outcomes observed in this study.
Keywords: Stanford classification; aortic dissection; historical review; outcomes; type A.
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