Acute Symptomatic Isolated Abdominal Aortic Dissection - Clinical Characteristics, Outcome, and Sex Differences

Ann Vasc Surg. 2024 May 10:106:61-70. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2024.02.026. Online ahead of print.


Background: Acute isolated abdominal aortic dissection (IAAD) is a rare condition and treatment recommendations are lacking. Most previous studies included both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The aims were to determine the proportion of IAAD among patients with acute type B aortic dissection as well as to describe patient characteristics, radiological findings, and frequency of early and late complications and to explore sex differences.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study including all patients hospitalized with acute symptomatic IAAD in Stockholm County during 2012-2021.

Results: A total of 277 patients with acute type B aortic dissection were identified, of whom 10% (n = 28/277) had acute IAAD. Median age was 56 years and 43% (n = 12/28) were women. Hypertension was diagnosed in 46% (n = 13/28) prior to admission. At onset, abdominal pain was the predominant complaint (93%, n = 26/28) and 93% (n = 26/28) were hypertensive on admission. The suprarenal aorta was involved in 39% (n = 11/28) and at least 1 of the iliac arteries in 50% (n = 14/28). All but 1 patient had uncomplicated IAAD (96%, n = 27/28). One patient presented with aortic rupture, treated with open surgical repair. Among patients with primarily uncomplicated IAAD, 7% eventually developed chronic complications (n = 2/27). Median maximum aortic diameter at 1-year follow-up was 21 mm (interquartile range 17-28). Only 1 patient had an aortic diameter exceeding 30 mm. None of the patients died during follow-up; median follow-up was 3.0 years (interquartile range 2-8).

Conclusions: Early and late complications are rare in patients with acute symptomatic IAAD and a conservative approach with antihypertensive treatment and surveillance in uncomplicated cases seems reasonable.