Hong Kong Med J 2007;13:122-30 | Number 2, April 2007
Aortic dissection in an accident and emergency department in Hong Kong
SW Kung, WS Ng, MH Ng
Accident and Emergency Department, Tseung Kwan O Hospital, No.2 Po Ning Lane, Hang Hau, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To compare the clinical characteristics of aortic dissection in Hong Kong with the International Registry of Aortic Dissection, and to evaluate the sensitivity of the Accident and Emergency Department in diagnosing aortic dissection and its role in aortic dissection management.
DESIGN. Retrospective observational study.
SETTING. Regional public hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Newly diagnosed aortic dissection patients attending the Accident and Emergency Department from 2002 to 2005 inclusive.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Correct diagnosis in Accident and Emergency Department, tertiary unit transfer, and in-patient mortality.
RESULTS. Twenty-eight patients were found to have aortic dissection, with an estimated annual incidence of 2.1 per 100 000 inhabitants. The sensitivity of Accident and Emergency Department in diagnosing aortic dissection was 54%; 11% of the patients were diagnosed at postmortem examination. Compared to the International Registry of Aortic Dissection, the patients in this Tseung Kwan O Hospital study had less abrupt and less severe pain, less chest pain, and a lower proportion were operated on. Higher mortality was associated with age 70 years or older (odds ratio=6.4), female gender (21.0), known hypertension (3.8), systolic blood pressure below 100 mm Hg (6.0), aortic dissection not diagnosed in the Accident and Emergency Department (3.2), and the patient not reaching tertiary unit (33.8). The hourly cumulative mortality rate was 1.32%. The group of aortic dissections diagnosed in the Accident and Emergency Department had 55.1% more transfer to tertiary unit (95% confidence interval, 14.4-79.1%; P=0.006), 84.5 hours less transfer time (95.3-263.6 hours; P=0.232), and 27.2% lower mortality (12.6-58.6%; P=0.246). The yield rate of contrast computed tomography of thorax was 43%.
CONCLUSIONS. Diagnosing aortic dissection in the Accident and Emergency Department enabled optimal disposition and lower in-patient mortality.
Key words: Aneurysm, dissecting; Asian continental ancestry group; Emergency service, hospital; Tomography, spiral computed; Hospital mortality
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