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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 192459, 4 pages
Research Article

Aortic Dissection Type A in Alpine Skiers

1Innsbruck Medical University, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2Institute for Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism, University Hospital Innsbruck and UMIT Hall, Austria

Received 28 April 2013; Revised 13 June 2013; Accepted 26 June 2013

Academic Editor: Jeffrey L. Anderson

Copyright © 2013 Thomas Schachner et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Patients and Methods. 140 patients with aortic dissection type A were admitted for cardiac surgery. Seventy-seven patients experienced their dissection in the winter season (from November to April). We analyzed cases of ascending aortic dissection associated with alpine skiing. Results. In 17 patients we found skiing-related aortic dissections. Skiers were taller (180 (172–200) cm versus 175 (157–191) cm, ) and heavier (90 (68–125) kg versus 80 (45–110) kg, ) than nonskiers. An extension of aortic dissection into the aortic arch, the descending thoracic aorta, and the abdominal aorta was found in 91%, 74%, and 69%, respectively, with no significant difference between skiers and nonskiers. Skiers experienced RCA ostium dissection requiring CABG in 17.6% while this was true for 5% of nonskiers ( ). Hospital mortality of skiers was 6% versus 13% in nonskiers ( ). The skiers live at an altitude of 170 (0–853) m.a.s.l. and experience their dissection at 1602 (1185–3105; ) m.a.s.l. In 82% symptom start was during recreational skiing without any trauma. Conclusion. Skiing associated aortic dissection type A is usually nontraumatic. The persons affected live at low altitudes and practice an outdoor sport at unusual high altitude at cold temperatures. Postoperative outcome is good.