Aortic thickness: A forgotten paradigm in risk stratification of aortic disease
journal contributionposted on 29.01.2021, 00:59 by Ashutosh Hardikar, Robin Harle, Thomas Marwick
Abstract Background This study aimed at risk-stratifying aortic dilatation using aortic wall thickness (AWT) and comparing methods of AWT assessment. Methods Demographic, epidemiological, and perioperative data on 72 consecutive aortic surgeries (age = 62 years[standard deviation (SD) = 12] years) performed by a single surgeon were collected from hospital database. Aortic thickness was measured on computed tomography scans, as well as intraoperatively in four quadrants, at the level of aortic sinuses, as well as midascending aorta, using calipers. Aortic wall stress was calculated using standard mathematical formulae. Results The ascending aorta was 48.2 (SD = 8) mm and the mean thickness at ascending aorta level was 1.9 (SD = 0.3) mm. There was congruence between imaging and intraoperative measurements of thickness, as well as between the radiologist and surgeon. Preoperatively, 16 patients had multiple imaging studies showing an average rate of growth of 1.2 mm per year without significant difference in thickness. The wider the aorta, the thinner was the lateral or convex wall. Aortic stenosis (p = 0.01), lateral to medial wall thickness ratio (p = 0.04), and history of hypertension (p = 0.00), all had protective effect on aortic root stress. The ascending aortic stress was directly affected by age (p = 0.03) and inversely related to lateral to medial wall thickness ratio (p = 0.03). Conclusion Aortic thickness can be measured preoperatively and easily confirmed intraoperatively. Risk stratification based on both aortic thickness and diameter (stress calculations) would better predict acute aortic events in dilated aortas and define aortic resection criteria more objectively.