There has been a revolution in the management of type B aortic dissection (TBAD) over the last two decades due to the increasing development of endovascular techniques, with the prime example being thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR). However, many controversies concerning the use of TEVAR in TBAD exist. For instance, there is little available evidence suggesting any differences in demographics, disease characteristics, intervention technicalities and clinical outcomes between males and females as well as different ethnicities when undergoing TEVAR for TBAD, both in the short and long-term. Also, there is no risk prediction model/tool available.
The objective of this international study is to describe and delineate the disparities between male and female patients of different ethnicities in terms of demographics, disease and interventional characteristics, and clinical outcomes.
Over 17 years a total of 58 TBAD patients were admitted to two tertiary vascular centres and treated using TEVAR. Mortality, post-operative complications and reintervention data were recorded for the first 30 days after the procedure as well as during follow-up. Follow-up for all patients lasted until the study endpoint or until a patient’s death. Data was analysed retrospectively using IBM SPSS 26 for Windows.
Mean age was similar between the two groups, with the majority of patients in both being Caucasian. More than half of the males had complicated TBAD, whilst the majority of females were classed as having uncomplicated disease. The most commonly utilised proximal and distal landing zone for the TEVAR stent-graft was zone 2 and zone 4, respectively. The mean proximal stent diameter was significantly larger in males compared to females (p=0.004). The difference in mean distal diameter between the two groups was insignificant (p=0.721). The mean total stent coverage of the thoracic aorta was 251.3 mm in male patients compared to 291.2 mm in females (p=0.203). A total of 32 patients underwent adjunctive procedures. Seven (17%) of the males had one or more post-operative complications compared to 2 (12%) females. Nine (22%) males underwent a reintervention procedure post-TEVAR compared to only 1 (6%) female (p=0.136). Overall, males had a mortality rate of 24% (n=10) compared to 41% of females (n=7) (p=0.201). Estimated survival of males and females post-TEVAR was 80.4 ± 9.6 months and 69.7 ± 14.4 months (p=0.428). For the total population, the number of stent-grafts was inversely correlated with mortality.
Despite the favourable clinical outcomes achieved by TEVAR in TBAD, there remains a grey area concerning its management. Thus, it is important to perform risk stratification of individual patients using their demographics and comorbidities, particularly scrutinizing gender and ethnic origin when considering intervention for TBAD to achieve optimum results.