Patients with Stanford type B aortic dissections (ADs) are at risk of long-term disease progression and late complications. The aim of this study was to evaluate the natural course and evolution of acute type B AD and intramural hematomas (IMHs) in patients who presented without complications during their initial hospital admission and who were treated with optimal medical management (MM).Databases from 2 aortic centers in Europe and the United States were used to identify 136 patients with acute type B AD (n = 92) and acute type B IMH (n = 44) who presented without complications during their index admission and were treated with MM. Computed tomography angiography scans were available at onset (=14 days) and during follow-up for those patients. Relevant data, including evidence of adverse events during follow-up (AE; defined according to current guidelines), were retrieved from medical records and by reviewing computed tomography scan images. Aortic diameters were measured with dedicated 3-dimensional software.The 1-, 2-, and 5-year event-free survival rates of patients with type B AD were 84.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 74.4-90.6), 75.4% (95% CI, 64.0-83.7), and 62.6% (95% CI, 68.9-73.6), respectively. Corresponding estimates for IMH were 76.5% (95% CI, 57.8-87.8), 76.5% (95% CI, 57.8-87.8), and 68.9% (95% CI, 45.2-83.9), respectively. In patients with type B AD, risk of an AE increased with aortic growth within the first 6 months after onset. A diameter increase of 5 mm in the first half year was associated with a relative risk for AE of 2.29 (95% CI, 1.70-3.09) compared with the median 6 months' growth of 2.4 mm. In approximately 60% of patients with IMH, the abnormality resolved within 12 months and in the patients with nonresolving IMH, risk of an adverse event was greatest in the first year after onset and remained stable thereafter.More than one third of patients with initially uncomplicated type B AD suffer an AE under MM within 5 years of initial diagnosis. In patients with nonresolving IMH, most adverse events are observed in the first year after onset. In patients with type B AD an early aortic growth is associated with a greater risk of AE.
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