Intramural hematoma of the thoracic aorta: A single-institution, 12-year experience

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Journal of Vascular Surgery


OBJECTIVE: The natural history and management of intramural hematoma (IMH) has varied significantly worldwide. From the present retrospective analysis of our institutional database, we have reported the long-term results from medical and surgical management of types A and B IMH.

METHODS: Computed tomography reports completed at our tertiary care hospital from July 2007 to July 2020 were used to identify patients with IMH with a thickness of ≥7 mm. Those with IMH directly related to trauma, previous aortic surgery, penetrating atheromatous ulcer, dissection flap, or an iatrogenic source and those who had never received any treatment of IMH at presentation were excluded.

RESULTS: A total of 54 patients with IMH had met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Of the 54 patients, 24 had presented with Stanford type A. Of these 24 patients, 10 had initially undergone surgery and 14 had initially received medical treatment. Two patients in the medical group had subsequently undergone surgery. In addition, 30 patients had presented with type B IMH and had initially received medical treatment, with 3 eventually requiring surgical intervention. In-hospital survival was 90% for type A IMH treated surgically, 93% for type A IMH treated medically, and 97% for type B IMH treated medically. At the last follow-up imaging study of the medically treated patients, 36% of those with type A IMH and 31% of those with type B IMH had experienced complete resolution of IMH at 3.7 and 31.5 months respectively, without surgical intervention. The development of an aortic aneurysm at the site of a previous IMH had occurred in 18% (2 of 11) and 12% (3 of 26) of the type A medical and type B medical cohorts. The overall rate of aortic aneurysm formation in the region of IMH or in another segment was 50%. No difference was found in long-term survival between the three cohorts at a mean follow-up of 22.8 months.

CONCLUSIONS: A role appears to exist for medical treatment with anti-impulse therapy for appropriately selected patients with type A IMH. These patients must be followed up closely clinically and radiographically for signs of deterioration in the short- and long-term phases of their care. They can achieve long-term survival similar to that of surgically treated type A IMH and medically treated type B IMH patients using this algorithm. However, they might require late surgical intervention, especially for aneurysmal disease.





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