Aortic Size and Clinical Care Pathways Before Type A Aortic Dissection

Daniel Y. Johnson, Joao Cavalcante, Christian Schmidt, Kari Thomas, Ross Garberich, Matthew Pavlovec, Karol Mudy, Steven M. Bradley, Kevin M. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Patients with aortic enlargement are recommended to undergo serial imaging and clinical follow-up until they reach surgical thresholds. This study aimed to identify aortic diameter and care of patients with aortic imaging before aortic dissection (AD). In a retrospective cohort of AD patients, we evaluated previous imaging results in addition to ordering providers and indications. Imaging was stratified as >1 or <1 year: 62 patients (53% men) had aortic imaging before AD (most recent test: 82% echo, 11% computed tomography, 6% magnetic resonance imaging). Imaging was ordered most frequently by primary care physicians (35%) and cardiologists (39%). The most frequent imaging indications were arrhythmia (11%), dyspnea (10%), before or after aortic valve surgery (8%), chest pain (6%), and aneurysm surveillance in 13%. Of all patients, 94% had aortic diameters below the surgical threshold before the AD. Imaging was performed <1 year before AD in 47% and aortic size was 4.4 ± 0.8 cm in ascending aorta and 4.0 ± 0.8 cm in sinus. In patients whose most recent imaging was >1 year before AD (1,317 ± 1,017 days), the mean ascending aortic diameter was 4.2 ± 0.4 cm. In conclusion, in a series of patients with aortic imaging before AD, the aortic size was far short of surgical thresholds in 94% of the group. In >50%, imaging was last performed >1 year before dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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