Management and In-hospital Mortality of 2203 Patients With a Traumatic Intimal Tear of the Thoracic Aorta

Jean Jacob-Brassard, Mohammed Al-Omran, Avery B. Nathens, Thomas L. Forbes, Charles De Mestral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:Our goal was to describe contemporary management and inhospital mortality associated with blunt thoracic aortic intimal tears (IT) within the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program.Summary Background Data:The evidence basis for nonoperative expectant management of traumatic iT of the thoracic aorta remains weak.Methods:All adult patients with a thoracic aortic IT following blunt trauma were captured from Level I and II North American Centers enrolled in Trauma Quality Improvement Program from 2010 to 2017. For each patient, we extracted demographics, injury characteristics, the timing and approach of thoracic aortic repair and in-hospital mortality. Mortality attributable to IT was calculated by comparing IT patients to a propensity-score matched control cohort of severely injured blunt trauma patients without aortic injury.Results:There were 2203 IT patients across 315 facilities. Injury most often resulted from motor vehicle collision (75%). A total of 758 patients (34%) underwent operative management, with 93% (N = 708) of repairs performed via an endovascular approach. Median time to surgery was 11-hours (IQR 4- 40). The frequency of operative management was higher in patients without traumatic brain injury (TBI) (35%, N = 674) compared to those with TBI (29%, N = 84) (P = 0.024). Compared to severely injured blunt trauma patients without aortic injury, ITwas not associated with additional in-hospital mortality (10.7% for IT vs 11.7% for no IT, absolute risk difference: -1.0%, 95% CI: -2.9% to 0.8%).Conclusions:The majority of blunt thoracic IT are managed nonoperatively and IT does not confer additional in-hospital mortality risk. Future studies should focus on the risk of injury progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-192
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • blunt trauma
  • management
  • thoracic aortic intimal tear
  • trauma quality improvement program


Dive into the research topics of 'Management and In-hospital Mortality of 2203 Patients With a Traumatic Intimal Tear of the Thoracic Aorta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this