False Lumen Ejection Fraction Predicts Growth in Type B Aortic Dissection: Preliminary Results

European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Manuscript
Authors Nicholas S Burris, David A Nordsletten, Julio A Sotelo, Ross Grogan-Kaylor, Ignas B Houben, C Alberto Figueroa, Sergio Uribe, Himanshu J Patel

Current risk assessment strategies in type B aortic dissection are focused on anatomic parameters, although haemodynamic abnormalities that result in false lumen (FL) pressurization are thought to play a significant role in aortic growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate blood flow of the FL using 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and identify haemodynamic and anatomic factors that independently predict the rate of aortic growth.

Patients with dissection of the descending thoraco-abdominal aorta (n = 18) were enrolled in a prospective observational study and underwent 4D flow MRI for haemodynamic assessment of the entry tear and FL. Anatomic parameters were obtained by magnetic resonance angiography and baseline computed tomography. False lumen ejection fraction (FL EF) was defined the ratio of retrograde flow rate at the dominant entry tear during diastole over the antegrade systolic flow rate.

The median aortic growth rate was 3.5 mm/year (interquartile range 0.5–8.1 mm/year). Entry tear peak velocity was lower in patients with enlarging aortic dimensions (95.5 ± 24.1 vs 128.1 ± 37.4 cm/s, P = 0.039). After adjusting for co-variates FL EF (β = 0.15, P = 0.004), baseline maximal aortic diameter (β = 0.37, P = 0.001) and the entry tear distance from the left subclavian artery (β = 0.07, P = 0.016) were significant predictors of aortic growth rate.

Beyond standard anatomic risk factors, FL EF is an independent predictor of aortic growth rate and may represent an intuitive, non-invasive method to estimate FL pressurization and improve patient-specific risk assessment in patients with type B aortic dissection.