Twenty years after its founding, the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD) has provided clinicians and patients with critical information on risk factors, the clinical course, and outcomes associated with this devastating disease. Throughout a changing diagnostic and interventional landscape, IRAD has supported rigorous investigation into best practices and corroborated outcomes in order to provide optimal patient care. The 81 manuscripts published in top tier, peer reviewed journals are testament to the dedication of IRAD investigators.
Despite its longevity, IRAD is well-poised to continue its investigative efforts. A program supporting expansion to new centers has helped the registry grow to 49 active sites in 12 countries, with more additions on the horizon. The influx of additional data and centers will support reinvestigation of previous topics with a larger dataset, as well as facilitate evaluation of regional- and hospital-based nuances of dissection care.
The enthusiasm of IRAD investigators has spurred the formation of several working groups, supporting additional investigative efforts into pertinent topics. The Interventional Cohort, or IRAD-IVC, has described over 2200 surgical, endovascular, and hybrid procedures from 26 centers. These data permit detailed investigations of interventional procedures, topics that remain controversial. The seminal publication from this group, Changes in Operative Strategy for Patients Enrolled in the IRAD-Interventional Cohort Program, was recently presented at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Aortic Symposium, and accepted into the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
Despite IRAD’s successes in distributing information to emergency room clinicians, cardiologists, and aortic interventionalists world-wide, there remains a dearth of patient-centered information. The lack of standardized recommendations and a central repository to which patients can be referred has inspired the IRAD Patients and Families website, due to launch in March of this year. Here, individuals who have suffered an aortic dissection can find plain-language introductions to the disease, as well as organized, consortium-reviewed information on post-discharge care. We are hopeful that this website will improve outcomes and support patients partnering with clinicians to optimize their care.
The International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection has succeeded as a result of the dedication, compassion, and collaboration exemplified by its investigators. Despite two decades of work and a myriad of publications already published or in press, the 69 active projects and enthusiastic interest from new centers leaves IRAD poised to continue its efforts into the future.
Eva Kline-Rogers, RN, MSN, NP
Elise Woznicki, BS
IRAD Database Manager