Background: Surgical indication and the selection of surgical procedures for acute type A aortic dissection in older patients are controversial; therefore, we examined the surgical outcomes in older patients.
Methods: From January 2012 through December 2019, 174 patients surgical repair for acute type A aortic dissection. We compared the surgical outcomes between the older (≥80 years old) and below-80 (≤79 years old) age groups. Additionally, we compared the surgical and conservative treatment groups.
Results: The primary entry was found in the ascending aorta in 51.6% and 32.8% of the older and below-80 groups, respectively (p = 0.049). Ascending or hemiarch replacement was performed in all older group cases and 57.3% of the below-80 group cases (total arch replacement was performed in the remaining 42.7%; p < 0.001). Hospital mortality rates were similar in both groups. The significant risk factors for hospital mortality were age, preoperative intubation, cardiopulmonary bypass time, and postoperative stroke. The 5-year survival rates were 48.4% ± 10.3% (older group) and 86.7% ± 2.9% (below-80 group; p < 0.001). The rates of freedom from aortic events at 5 years were 86.9% ± 8.7% (older group) and 86.5% ± 3.9% (below-80 group; p = 0.771). The 5-year survival rate of the conservative treatment group was 19.2% ± 8.0% in the older group. There was no significant difference between the surgical treatment groups (p = 0.103).
Conclusion: The surgical approach did not achieve a significant survival advantage over conservative treatment and may not always be the reasonable treatment of choice for older patients.