Background: Surgical approach to type A acute aortic dissection (AADA) is usually dictated by the presenting anatomy. We compared long-term outcomes of AADA repaired with a root replacement versus a supracoronary tube graft, regardless of the proximal extent of the intimal tear. Methods: A single-centre, retrospective cohort of consecutive patients undergoing repair of AADA between December 1999 and March 2012 were stratified based on the proximal surgical procedure performed: supracoronary tube graft or root replacement. Imaging, chart reviews and clinical follow-ups were analyzed to identify the presenting anatomy and clinical outcomes. Results: We included the cases of 75 patients in our analysis: 54 received a supracoronary tube graft and 21 received a root replacement. The proximal tear was identified below the sinotubular junction in all patients in the root group and in 61% of patients in the supracoronary group. We detected no differences between the groups for in-hospital mortality, length of stay, or complications. However, the root group had significantly increased renal failure (0% v. 9.5%, p = 0.018), cardiopulmonary bypass time (198.4 ± 80.0 min v. 316.5 ± 102.5 min, p < 0.001), cross-clamp time (91.6 ± 34.9 min v. 191.3 ± 52.8 min, p < 0.001), duration of surgery (457.5 ± 129.9 min v. 611.6 ± 197.8 min, p < 0.001), and platelet transfusions (8.1 ± 7.6 v. 12.8 ± 8.7 units, p = 0.021) than the supracoronary group. Long-term follow-up demonstrated a greater incidence of 2+ aortic regurgitation among patients in the supracoronary group than the root group (29.7% v. 0.0%, p = 0.006); however, there was no difference between the groups in symptoms or reoperation. Conclusion: In AADA, aortic root replacement involves a longer procedure with increased risk of early renal impairment. Long-term follow-up identified significantly more aortic regurgitation and root dilation in the supracoronary group than the root group, with a trend toward worse long-term survival. However, we found no difference between the groups in mortality, reoperation or New York Heart Association class.
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