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The Perioperative Management of Ascending Aortic Dissection

Gregory, Stephen H. MD*; Yalamuri, Suraj M. MD; Bishawi, Muath MD; Swaminathan, Madhav MD, MMCi, FASE, FAHA§

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000003747
Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesiology
Continuing Medical Education

Acute aortic syndromes are a distinct group of pathologies involving the wall of the aorta that present acutely and can be potentially fatal unless treated in a timely fashion. The syndrome is dominated by aortic dissections, which comprise ≥95% of all such presentations. Those involving the ascending aorta are particularly lethal and require specific and early surgical treatment compared to dissections involving other parts of the aorta. The surgical repair of an ascending aortic dissection presents multiple challenges to the anesthesiologist. Thoughtful management throughout the perioperative period is critical for minimizing the significant morbidity and mortality associated with this condition. In this narrative review, we provide an overview of the perioperative management of patients presenting for the surgical repair of an ascending aortic dissection. Preoperative discussion focuses on assessment, hemodynamic management, and risk stratification. The intraoperative section includes an overview of anesthetic management, transesophageal echocardiographic assessment, and coagulopathy, as well as surgical considerations that may influence anesthetic management.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri

Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; and Departments of

Surgery and

§Anesthesiology, Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina.

Published ahead of print 17 July 2018.

Accepted for publication July 17, 2018.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Madhav Swaminathan, MD, MMCi, FASE, FAHA, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3094 DUMC/5691F HAFS, Durham, NC 27710. Address e-mail to

Copyright © 2018 International Anesthesia Research Society
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