Iatrogenic intraoperative type A aortic dissection following cardiac surgery

Pradeep Narayan, Gianni D Angelini, Alan J Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


BACKGROUND: An increase in the incidence of intraoperative aortic dissection has been reported recently, attributed to the increasingly elderly patient population undergoing cardiac surgery and more off-pump coronary artery bypass. We performed this study to examine current trends, identify risk factors for iatrogenic dissection, and compare iatrogenic intraoperative aortic dissection with spontaneous aortic dissection.

METHODS: The 15,144 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac surgery from April 1999 to April 2011 were studied retrospectively on data collected prospectively.

RESULTS: Iatrogenic type A aortic dissection following cardiac surgery was diagnosed intraoperatively in 7 (0.04%) patients. Of the 4784 patients who had off-pump coronary artery bypass, only 2 (0.04%) developed iatrogenic intraoperative aortic dissection. Patients in the iatrogenic aortic dissection group were older by a decade (median age 72 vs. 62 years, p = 0.01). The cannulation site in conventional coronary artery bypass grafting and injury by the side-biting clamp in off-pump coronary artery bypass were the most common causes of dissection. Atheromatous disease was identified at the site of cannulation in 5 (71.4%) of the 7 cases.

CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative aortic dissection remains a rare and unpredictable complication of cardiac surgery, with worse outcomes than spontaneous aortic dissection. Increased age and atheromatous disease at the site of cannulation are significant risk factors for iatrogenic dissection. In this series, off-pump coronary artery bypass did not appear to be a risk factor for iatrogenic aortic dissection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-5
Number of pages5
JournalAsian Cardiovascular and Thoracic Annals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research


  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting/diagnosis
  • Aortic Aneurysm/diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis/complications
  • Coronary Artery Bypass/adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass, Off-Pump/adverse effects
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors

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