DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines11082207 ISSN: 2227-9059

Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Aortic Arch Emergencies: Takayasu Disease, Fibromuscular Dysplasia, and Aortic Arch Pathologies: A Retrospective Study and Review of the Literature

Magdalena Wawak, Łukasz Tekieli, Rafał Badacz, Piotr Pieniążek, Damian Maciejewski, Mariusz Trystuła, Tadeusz Przewłocki, Anna Kabłak-Ziembicka
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Non-atherosclerotic aortic arch pathologies (NA-AAPs) and anatomical variants are characterized as rare cardiovascular diseases with a low incidence rate, below 1 case per 2000 population, but enormous heterogeneity in terms of anatomical variants, i.e., Takayasu disease (TAK) and fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD). In specific clinical scenarios, NA-AAPs constitute life-threatening disorders. Methods: In this study, 82 (1.07%) consecutive patients with NA-AAPs (including 38 TAKs, 26 FMDs, and 18 other AAPs) out of 7645 patients who underwent endovascular treatment (EVT) for the aortic arch and its side-branch diseases at a single institution between 2002 and 2022 were retrospectively reviewed. The recorded demographic, biochemical, diagnostic, operative, and postoperative factors were reviewed, and the functional outcomes were determined during follow-up. A systematic review of the literature was also performed. Results: The study group comprised 65 (79.3%) female and 17 (21.7%) male subjects with a mean age of 46.1 ± 14.9 years. Overall, 62 (75.6%) patients were diagnosed with either cerebral ischemia symptoms or aortic arch dissection on admission. The EVT was feasible in 59 (72%) patients, whereas 23 (28%) patients were referred for medical treatment. In EVT patients, severe periprocedural complications occurred in two (3.39%) patients, including one periprocedural death and one cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome. During a median follow-up period of 64 months, cardiovascular events occurred in 24 (29.6%) patients (5 deaths, 13 ISs, and 6 myocardial infarctions). Repeated EVT for the index lesion was performed in 21/59 (35.6%) patients, including 19/33 (57.6%) in TAK and 2/13 (15.4%) in FMD. In the AAP group, one patient required additional stent-graft implantation for progressing dissection to the iliac arteries at 12 months. A baseline white blood count (odds ratio [HR]: 1.25, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.11–1.39; p < 0.001) was the only independent prognostic factor for recurrent stenosis, while a baseline hemoglobin level (HR: 0.73, 95%CI: 0.59–0.89; p = 0.002) and coronary involvement (HR: 4.11, 95%CI: 1.74–9.71; p = 0.001) were independently associated with a risk of major cardiac and cerebral events according to the multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Conclusions: This study showed that AAPs should not be neglected in clinical settings, as it can be a life-threatening condition requiring a multidisciplinary approach. The knowledge of prognostic risk factors for adverse outcomes may improve surveillance in this group of patients.

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