Determinants of outcomes following surgery for type A acute aortic dissection: the UK National Adult Cardiac Surgical Audit

Eur Heart J. 2021 Dec 28;43(1):44-52. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab586.


Aims: Operability of type A acute aortic dissections (TAAAD) is currently based on non-standardized decision-making process, and it lacks a disease-specific risk evaluation model that can predict mortality. We investigated patient, intraoperative data, surgeon, and centre-related variables for patients who underwent TAAAD in the UK.

Methods and results: We identified 4203 patients undergoing TAAAD surgery in the UK (2009-18), who were enrolled into the UK National Adult Cardiac Surgical Audit dataset. The primary outcome was operative mortality. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed with fast backward elimination of variables and the bootstrap-based optimism-correction was adopted to assess model performance. Variation related to hospital or surgeon effects were quantified by a generalized mixed linear model and risk-adjusted funnel plots by displaying the individual standardized mortality ratio against expected deaths. Final variables retained in the model were: age [odds ratio (OR) 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.03; P < 0.001]; malperfusion (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.51-2.12; P < 0.001); left ventricular ejection fraction (moderate: OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.14-1.71; P = 0.001; poor: OR 2.83, 95% CI 1.90-4.21; P < 0.001); previous cardiac surgery (OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.71-3.07; P < 0.001); preoperative mechanical ventilation (OR 2.76, 95% CI 2.00-3.80; P < 0.001); preoperative resuscitation (OR 3.36, 95% CI 1.14-9.87; P = 0.028); and concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting (OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.86-2.83; P < 0.001). We found a significant inverse relationship between surgeons but not centre annual volume with outcomes.

Conclusions: Patient characteristics, intraoperative factors, cardiac centre, and high-volume surgeons are strong determinants of outcomes following TAAAD surgery. These findings may help refining clinical decision-making, supporting patient counselling and be used by policy makers for quality assurance and service provision improvement.

Keywords: Risk factors; Risk score; Type A aortic dissection; Volume–outcome relationship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting* / surgery
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke Volume
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left