How does the ascending aorta geometry change when it dissects?

Rylski, Bartosz; Blanke, Philipp; Beyersdorf, Friedhelm; Desai, Nimesh D; Milewski, Rita K; Siepe, Matthias; Kari, Fabian A; Czerny, Martin; Carrel, Thierry; Schlensak, Christian; Krüger, Tobias; Mack, Michael J; Brinkman, William T; Mohr, Friedrich W; Etz, Christian D; Luehr, Maximilian; Bavaria, Joseph E (2014). How does the ascending aorta geometry change when it dissects? Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(13), pp. 1311-1319. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.12.028

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The purpose of this study is to delineate changes in aortic geometry and diameter due to dissection.


Aortic diameter is the major criterion for elective ascending aortic replacement for dilated ascending aortas to prevent aortic dissection. However, recommendations are made on the basis of clinical experience and observation of diameters of previously dissected aortas.


Six tertiary centers on 2 continents reviewed their acute aortic dissection type A databases, which contained 1,821 patients. Included were all non-Marfan patients with nonbicuspid aortic valves who had undergone computed tomography angiography <2 years before and within 12 h after aortic dissection onset. Aortic geometry before and after dissection onset were compared.


Altogether, 63 patients were included (27 spontaneous and 36 retrograde dissections, median age 68 [57; 77] years; 54% were men). In all but 1 patient, maximum ascending aortic diameter was <55 mm before aortic dissection onset. The largest increase in diameter and volume induced by the dissection were observed in the ascending aorta (40.1 [36.6; 45.3] mm vs. 52.9 [46.1; 58.6] mm, +12.8 mm; p < 0.001; 124.0 [90.8; 162.5] cm(3) vs. 171.0 [147.0; 197.0] cm(3), +47 cm(3); p < 0.001). Mean aortic arch diameter increased from 39.8 (30.5; 42.6) mm to 46.4 (42.0; 51.6) mm (+6.6 mm; p < 0.001) and descending thoracic aorta diameter from 31.2 (27.0; 33.3) mm to 34.9 (30.9; 39.5) mm (+3.7 mm; p < 0.001). Changes in thoracic aorta geometry were similar for spontaneous and retrograde etiology.


Geometry of the thoracic aorta is affected by aortic dissection, leading to an increase in diameter that is most pronounced in the ascending aorta. Both spontaneous and retrograde dissection result in similar aortic geometry changes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Heart Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Czerny, Martin, Carrel, Thierry


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Sara Baumberger

Date Deposited:

17 Mar 2015 16:32

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2024 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

aorta, computed tomography, dissection, surgery




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