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Imaging surveillance for complications after primary surgery for type A aortic dissection
  1. Samuel Heuts1,
  2. Simon Schalla2,3,4,
  3. Mitch J F G Ramaekers2,3,4,
  4. Elham Bidar1,4,
  5. Casper Mihl3,4,
  6. Joachim E Wildberger3,4,
  7. Bouke P Adriaans2,3,4
  1. 1 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum+, Maastricht, Limburg, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Cardiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, Limburg, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, Limburg, The Netherlands
  4. 4 CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Limburg, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Samuel Heuts, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Maastricht Universitair Medisch Centrum+, Maastricht 6229 HX, Limburg, The Netherlands; sam.heuts{at}


Acute type A aortic dissection (ATAAD) is a life-threatening condition that requires emergency surgery to avert fatal outcome. Conventional surgical procedures comprise excision of the entry tear and replacement of the proximal aorta with a synthetic vascular graft. In patients with DeBakey type I dissection, this approach leaves a chronically dissected distal aorta, putting them at risk for progressive dilatation, dissection propagation and aortic rupture. Therefore, ATAAD survivors should undergo serial imaging for evaluation of the aortic valve, proximal and distal anastomoses, and the aortic segments beyond the distal anastomosis. The current narrative review aims to describe potential complications in the early and late phases after ATAAD surgery, with focus on their specific imaging findings.

  • aortic diseases
  • aneurysm, dissecting
  • computed tomography angiography
  • echocardiography
  • cardiac imaging techniques

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  • Contributors Study design: SH, BPA and SS. Data collection: SH, BPA and CM. Scientific guarantor: JW. Manuscript draft: SH and BPA. Revision, editing and approval of the final manuscript: all authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.