Emergency surgery results in life-threatening thoracic aortic disease

  • Yoshito Kawachi
  • Yoshihiro Toshima
  • Atsuhiro Nakashima
  • Kouichi Arinaga
  • Isao Komesu


Objective: Emergency surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm continues to involve high mortality. We review our experience in emergency surgery for life-threatening thoracic aortic disease.Methods: Between September 1994 and June 2000, 65 consecutive patients—38 men and 27 women aged 18 to 84 years (mean: 64.3 years)—underwent emergency surgery for thoracic aortic disease. Of these, 40 (61%) were treated for acute type A dissection, 16 (25%) for aortic rupture, and 9 (14%) for impending aneurysmal rupture. Ascending aorta repair was conducted in 21, aortic arch repair in 30, distal arch repair in 2, descending aorta repair in 9, and thoracoabdominal aorta repair in 3. Of the 65, 42 were under 70 years old and 23 were 70 years of age and older.Results: Overall, 8 (12%) died in the hospital—3 (7.5%) of acute type A dissection, 3 (19%) of ruptured aneurysm, and 2 (22%) of impending rupture. Of these, 3 (7.1%) were younger than 70 years and 5 (22%) 70 years and older. The following perioperative factors significantly influenced hospital mortality: pump time (p=0.019), postoperative severe cardiac failure (p=0.006), postoperative respiratory failure (p=0.045), and postoperative acute renal failure (p=0.0007). Of the 57 survivors followed up for an average of 2.8 years (1 month to 6 years), 3-year survival was 73% overall—88% in patients younger than 70 years and 38% in those 70 years and older (p=0.0004). Seven of the 9 patients suffering strokes during surgery died in the hospital (2) or after discharge (5). Overall hospital and late deaths involved 2 of 4 patients younger than 70 years and all of 5 patients 70 years and older.Conclusion: The majority of patients undergoing emergency surgery for life-threatening thoracic aortic disease can undergo graft replacement with acceptable mortality, morbidity, and late survival, but early and late mortality for patients older than 70 remains extremely high.

Key words

acute type A dissection aortic rupture impending rupture emergency surgery 


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Copyright information

© Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshito Kawachi
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Toshima
    • 1
  • Atsuhiro Nakashima
    • 1
  • Kouichi Arinaga
    • 1
  • Isao Komesu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascular SurgeryNational Kyushu Medical Center HospitalFukuokaJapan

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