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Prevalence of Type A Acute Aortic Dissection in Patients With Out-Of-Hospital Cardiopulmonary Arrest

      Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) has been recently reported to be useful for detecting causes of death in the emergency department. In this study, the incidence and causes of death of type A acute aortic dissection (AAD) were investigated in patients who experienced out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest (OHCPA) using PMCT. PMCT or enhanced computed tomography was performed in 311 of 528 consecutive patients experiencing OHCPA. A total of 23 (7%) of 311 patients were diagnosed with type A AAD based on clinical courses and CT findings. Eighteen consecutive patients who did not experience OHCPA were diagnosed with type A AAD during the same period. Pre-hospital death was observed in 21 (51%) of 41 patients with type A AAD. Bloody pericardial effusion was observed more frequently in patients who experienced OHCPA with type A AAD than in those who did not experience OHCPA with type A AAD (91% vs 28%, respectively; p <0.05). In conclusion, the incidence of type A AAD was common (7%) in patients who experienced OHCPA, with a high rate of pre-hospital death. Aortic rupture to the intrapericardial space was considered the major cause of death in patients who experienced OHCPA with type A AAD.
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