Postoperative Evaluation

The medical and surgical approach to thoracic aortic dissection and aneurysm has evolved to the point where the clinical course of this formerly fatal disease state has improved. The rapid clinical recognition of aortic dissection and aneurysmal expansion has been aided by noninvasive methods including MR imag­ing. Involvement of the ascending thoracic aorta often is accompanied by hemodynamic compromise making surgical management the therapy of choice. Operative repair of ascending thoracic aortic dissec­tion and aneurysm often involves the placement of prosthetic aortic valve conduits and stents.

Patients remain at risk postoperatively from a variety of causes including prosthetic graft degeneration and recurrent dissection or aneurysm formation. Postop­erative assessment traditionally has been clinical be­cause of the absence of an adequate noninvasive imaging modality and a reluctance to perform repeat invasive contrast aortography. cialis professional

Magnetic resonance imaging is a useful technique for the presurgical evolution of aortic dissection as well as for the postoperative assessment of the false lumen distal to the surgical repair. The present study examines the use of MR imaging after surgery to assess the integrity of the operative repair itself.