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Acute type a aortic dissection associated with a sporting activity



To investigate the clinical characteristics of acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) occurring during a sporting activity.


The subjects of this study were 615 patients who underwent surgery for ATAAD between 1990 and 2015. The patients were divided into two groups according to whether the ATAAD was associated with a sporting activity (sports group: n = 25, mean age 62.3 years; non-sports group: n = 590, mean age 63.7 years). Specific activity was assessed in the sports group, and the characteristics and outcomes were compared between the groups.


The sports group accounted for 5% of the patients with daytime onset ATAAD (25/479). The most common sport was golf (n = 8), followed by swimming (n = 4), cycling (n = 4), and weight lifting (n = 3). The average diameter of the ascending aorta on preoperative computed tomography was 4.8 cm. The dissection characteristics of the sports group included DeBakey type I (n = 23, 92%) and malperfusion (n = 9, 36%), which were similar to those of the non-sports group. The 30-day mortality rates were 16% (4/25) for the sports group and 8% (49/590) for the non-sports group (P = 0.33).


The most common sport associated with ATAAD was golf, followed by swimming cycling, and weight lifting. The findings of this study reinforce that sports-related aortic dissection is not a unique clinical condition of young syndromic patients, but can occur in all age groups.

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Correspondence to Naoyuki Kimura.

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Itagaki, R., Kimura, N., Itoh, S. et al. Acute type a aortic dissection associated with a sporting activity. Surg Today 47, 1163–1171 (2017).

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  • Aortic dissection
  • Sports activity
  • Golf