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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 Jun 10

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05230-5

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Pre-operative neurological dysfunctions: what is their meaning in patients presenting with acute type A aortic dissection?

Ilaria GIAMBUZZI , Giorgio MASTROIACOVO, Maurizio ROBERTO, Sergio PIROLA, Francesco ALAMANNI, Laura CAVALLOTTI, Giorgia BONALUMI

UOC Cardiochirurgia, Centro Cardiologico Monzino, Milan, Italy


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INTRODUCTION: Type A aortic dissection (AAD) is a life-threatening disease with very high mortality. The gold standard treatment is surgical, as medical treatment has been proven to be ineffective. It is still unclear the role of pre-operative neurological dysfunction in the prognosis of the patient. Therefore, the choice of performing surgery in patients with neurological symptoms is still left to the surgeon at the time of the diagnosis. The aim of this study is to make a narrative review of the current literature about the management of patients with neurological symptoms in AAD patients.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A bibliographical research was performed on PubMed, looking for papers containing the words: “(preoperative neurological symptoms in type a aortic dissection) OR brain injury type A aortic dissection) AND ("2010"[Date - Publication] : "3000"[Date - Publication])”. A total of 35 papers were found.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A total of 6 papers were chosen to be reviewed. All of them concluded that even patients with severe neurological symptoms (up to comatose state) had a good chance to recover neurological functions after surgery if treated in the first hours from the onset of symptoms. Interestingly, a hemorrhagic stroke was rarely found.
CONCLUSIONS: Pre-operative neurological dysfunction have been long considered a contro-indication to surgery. Nevertheless, several authors show neurological and survival good results in patients with pre-operative neurological dysfunction. They also stress the importance of surgical timing finding in 5 to 10 hours the surgical time limit to improve neurological dysfunction. A pre-operative neurological dysfunction could be considered a strong advise to surgical intervention. It is time to change and consider prompt surgery not only for survival but also for cerebral protection.


KEY WORDS: Acute type A aortic dissection; Pre-operative neurological dysfunction

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