From the Journals

Respiratory effects may account for worse survival in women undergoing DTA and TAAA repair



Women undergoing open descending thoracic aortic aneurysm (DTA) and open thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) repair are not at greater risk for operative mortality than their male counterparts. However, they are at significantly greater risk for major adverse events and have significantly lower 5-year survival, according to the results of a single institution database review of 738 surgery patients.

From May 1997 to June 2017, there were 462 men (59%) and 321 women (41%) who underwent open repair of DTA or TAAA, according to Leonard N. Girardi, MD, and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, who performed the study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery. The researchers used logistic regression and Cox regression analyses to assess the effect of sex on perioperative and long-term outcomes.

Demographically, women were significantly older (67.6 years vs. 62.6 years), with a significantly higher incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (47.0% vs. 35.7%) and a significantly greater percentage of patients with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second less than 50% (28.3% vs 18.2%). Degenerative aneurysms were significantly more common in women (61.7% vs. 41.6%), whereas chronic dissections significantly predominated in men (42.4% vs. 23.1%). Operative mortality was not significantly different between women and men (5.6% vs. 6.2%); however, women were significantly more likely to require a tracheostomy after surgery (10.6% vs. 5.0%).

Logistic regression found that being a woman was an independent risk factor for a composite of major adverse events (odds ratio, 2.68) and need for tracheostomy (OR, 3.73). In addition, women had significantly worse 5-year survival than men undergoing DTA or TAAA repair (59.7% vs. 66.2%, P =.025). There was no difference in overall survival between 1997-2007 and 2008-2017.

“Women and men undergoing TAAA repair have significant and consistent differences in preoperative characteristics. Despite these differences, operative mortality is similar between the two groups. However, women are at significantly increased risk of [major adverse events], especially respiratory failure, because of those differences in risk factors, including age, pulmonary function, and aneurysm etiology,” the researchers concluded.

The authors reported that they had no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Girardi LN et al. J Vasc Surg 2019;69:1028-35.

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