Date of Award

3-25-2008

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Anne Mcbride Curtis

Abstract

This study evaluated post-operative CT scans to determine the normal postoperative appearance following thoracic aorta surgery. The 188 CT studies in 102 patients were analyzed for presence of perigraft fluid collections and pleural effusions. Fifty-seven of 102 patients (56%) had perigraft fluid at the time of their first postoperative CT scan. The majority of collections disappeared over time but some persisted with 22% scans showing fluid at greater than 24 months post-operatively. Pleural effusions were present on 86% of scans in the first post-operative month and only 9% of scans after 1 year. Pseudoaneurysms occurred in 3 of 48 ascending aortic procedures (6.2%) and 4 of 38 descending aortic procedures (10.5%). Complications were rare and identifying prognostic characteristics was difficult. Postoperative CT scans frequently have benign characteristics which may be interpreted as pathological. Knowledge of operative procedures is essential for correct interpretation of postoperative CT scans.

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