Predictors of Long-Term Aortic Growth and Disease Progression in Patients with Aortic Dissection, Intramural Hematoma, and Penetrating Aortic Ulcer

Francesco Squizzato, Meredith C. Hyun, Indrani Sen, Mario D'Oria, Thomas Bower, Gustavo Oderich, Jill Colglazier, Randall R. DeMartino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We aimed to identify predictors of long-term aortic diameter change and disease progression in a population cohort of patients with newly diagnosed aortic dissection (AD), intramural hematoma (IMH), or penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU). Methods: We used the Rochester Epidemiology Project record linkage system to identify all Olmsted County, MN-USA, residents diagnosed with AD, IMH, and PAU (1995–2015). The endpoints were aortic diameter change, freedom from clinical disease progression (any related intervention, aortic aneurysm, new aortic syndrome, rupture or death) and disease resolution (complete spontaneous radiological disappear). Linear regression was used to assess aortic growth rate; predictors of disease progression were identified with Cox proportional hazards. Results: Of 133 incident cases, 46 ADs, 12 IMHs, and 28 PAUs with sufficient imaging data were included. Overall median follow-up was 8.1 years. Aortic diameter increase occurred in 40 ADs (87%, median 1.0 mm/year), 5 IMHs (42%, median 0.2 mm/year) and 14 PAUs (50%, median 0.4 mm/year). Symptomatic presentation (P = 0.045), connective tissue disorders (P = 0.005), and initial aortic diameter >42 mm (P = 0.013) were associated with AD growth rate. PAU depth >9 mm (P = 0.047) and female sex (P = 0.013) were associated with aortic growth rate in PAUs and IMHs. At 10 years, freedom from disease progression was 22% (95% CI 12–41) for ADs, 44% (95% CI 22–92) for IMHs, and 46% (95% CI 27–78) for PAUs. DeBakey I/IIIB AD (HR 3.09; P = 0.038), initial IMH aortic diameter (HR 1.4; P = 0.037) and PAU depth >10 mm (HR 3.92; P = 0.018) were associated with disease progression. No AD spontaneously resolved; resolution rate at 10 years was 22% (95% CI 0–45) for IMHs and 11% (95% CI 0–23) for PAUs. Conclusions: Aortic growth and clinical disease progression are observed in most patients with aortic syndromes, while spontaneous resolution is uncommon. Predictors of aortic growth and disease progression may be used to tailor appropriate follow-up and eventual early intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Vascular Surgery
StatePublished - Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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