Preoperative neurological dysfunctions What is their meaning in patients presenting with acute type a aortic dissection?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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 preoperative 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) QR 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: Preoperative neurological dysfunction have been long considered a contraindication to surgery. Nevertheless, several authors show neurological and survival good results in patients with preoperative 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 preoperative neurological dysfunction could be considered a strong advice towards surgical intervention. It is time to change and consider prompt surgery not only for survival but also for cerebral protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-517
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Cardioangiologica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Dissecting aneurysm
  • Neurologic manifestations
  • Preoperative period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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