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Postoperative Stroke After Type A Aortic Dissection Repair: Hemorrhage Versus Ischemia



Postoperative stroke is a severe and potentially disabling complication following surgical intervention for acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD). This retrospective study aims to compare the early and late outcomes between patients who had hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke after undergoing ATAAD repair surgery.


Between January 2007 and June 2020, a total of 685 consecutive patients underwent ATAAD repair at our institution. Patients who had a preoperative stroke or were unconscious at presentation were excluded from this study. Of the 656 included for analysis, 102 (15.5%) patients had a postoperative stroke confirmed by computed tomography angiography. The strokes were classified into the ischemia group (n = 83, 12.7%) and hemorrhage group (n = 19, 2.9%). Clinical features, surgical information, postoperative complications, modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores after discharge, and 5-year cumulative survival rates were compared.


Demographics, comorbidities, and presentations of ATAAD were similar between the two groups, except a higher rate of preoperative antithrombotic medication was found in the hemorrhage group. The hemorrhage group was associated with a higher complexity of aortic arch replacement, longer cardiopulmonary bypass, and aortic clamping times than the ischemia group. A higher in-hospital mortality rate (42.1% versus 20.5%; p = 0.048) and a higher median mRS score at the 3-month follow-up after discharge (6[3–6] versus 4[2–6]; p = 0.027) were found in the hemorrhage group. The hemorrhage group showed a lower 5-year cumulative survival rate (23.4% versus 57.8%; p = 0.003) compared with the ischemia group.


Postoperative hemorrhagic stroke was associated with poorer neurological outcomes and lower survival rates than those with ischemic stroke. Patients who have complex arch replacement, long cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic clamping times are at risk for postoperative hemorrhagic stroke and should have intensive neurological surveillance for early diagnosis and treatment after ATAAD repair surgery.

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Antegrade cerebral perfusion


Ascending aorta


Acute type A aortic dissection


Confidence interval


Cardiopulmonary bypass


Emergency department


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


Intensive care unit


Modified Rankin Scale


Odds ratio


Operating room


Retrograde cerebral perfusion


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Lin, CY., Lee, CY., Lee, HF. et al. Postoperative Stroke After Type A Aortic Dissection Repair: Hemorrhage Versus Ischemia. World J Surg 46, 690–700 (2022).

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