Characteristics and In-Hospital Outcomes of Patients With Cardiac Tamponade Complicating Type A Acute Aortic Dissection

Dan Gilon, Rajendra H. Mehta, Jae K. Oh, James L. Januzzi, Eduardo Bossone, Jeanna V. Cooper, Dean E. Smith, Jianming Fang, Christoph A. Nienaber, Kim A. Eagle, Eric M. Isselbacher

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66 Scopus citations


Cardiac tamponade (TMP) is a life-threatening complication of acute type A aortic dissection (AAD). The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes of TMP in the setting of AAD on the basis of the findings in the large cohort of the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD). Six hundred seventy-four patients (mean age 61.8 ± 14.2 years) with AAD in IRAD were studied. TMP was suspected on clinical grounds and confirmed by diagnostic imaging. Univariate testing was followed by multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine the association of TMP. TMP was detected in 126 patients with AAD (18.7%). Age did not differ between patients with and without TMP. Those with TMP less often had previous cardiac surgery (7.0% vs 17.1%, p = 0.007). Syncope (37.8% vs 13.7%, p <0.0001) and altered mental status (31.2% vs 10.6%, p <0.0001) were more common in patients with AAD with TMP than without TMP. Patients with TMP were more likely to have widened mediastina on chest x-ray (72.6% vs 60.3%, p = 0.02) and to have periaortic hematomas (44.7% vs 21.2%, p <0.0001). In-hospital outcomes were significantly worse in patients with TMP. The mortality of patients with TMP remained significantly higher, even after adjustment for baseline clinical characteristics (p <0.001). On logistic regression, altered mental status, hypotension, and early mortality were identified as independent correlates of TMP. In conclusion, TMP is not uncommon in patients with AAD. Syncope, altered mental status, and a widened mediastinum on chest x-ray on presentation suggest TMP, the presence of which warrants urgent operative therapy to improve outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1029-1031
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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