Differences among sexes in presentation and outcomes in acute type A aortic dissection repair

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2021 Mar 29;S0022-5223(21)00559-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.03.078. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Female sex is a known risk factor in most cardiac surgery, including coronary and valve surgery, but unknown in acute type A aortic dissection repair.

Methods: From 1996 to 2018, 650 patients underwent acute type A aortic dissection repair; 206 (32%) were female, and 444 (68%) were male. Data were collected through the Cardiac Surgery Data Warehouse, medical record review, and National Death Index database.

Results: Compared with men, women were significantly older (65 vs 57 years, P < .0001). The proportion of women and men inverted with increasing age, with 23% of patients aged less than 50 years and 65% of patients aged 80 years or older being female. Women had significantly less chronic renal failure (2.0% vs 5.4%, P = .04), acute myocardial infarction (1.0% vs 3.8%, P = .04), and severe aortic insufficiency. Women underwent significantly fewer aortic root replacements with similar aortic arch procedures, shorter cardiopulmonary bypass times (211 vs 229 minutes, P = .0001), and aortic crossclamp times (132 vs 164 minutes, P < .0001), but required more intraoperative blood transfusion (4 vs 3 units) compared with men. Women had significantly lower operative mortality (4.9% vs 9.5%, P = .04), especially in those aged more than 70 years (4.4% vs 16%, P = .02). The significant risk factors for operative mortality were male sex (odds ratio, 2.2), chronic renal failure (odds ratio, 3.4), and cardiogenic shock (odds ratio, 6.8). The 10-year survival was similar between sexes.

Conclusions: Physicians and women should be cognizant of the risk of acute type A aortic dissection later in life in women. Surgeons should strongly consider operations for acute type A aortic dissection in women, especially in patients aged 70 years or more.

Keywords: acute type A aortic dissection; aorta; outcomes; sex.