Open Access Open Badges Research article

Predictors for pathologically confirmed aortitis after resection of the ascending aorta: A 12-year Danish nationwide population-based cross-sectional study

Jean Schmidt12*, Kaare Sunesen1, Jette B Kornum1, Pierre Duhaut2 and Reimar W Thomsen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg Hospital Science and Innovation Center, Sdr. Skovvej 15, DK-9000 Aalborg, Denmark

2 Department of Internal Medicine and RECIF, Amiens University Hospital, place Victor Pauchet, 80054, Amiens, Cedex 1, France

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:R87  doi:10.1186/ar3360

Published: 15 June 2011



Assessing the prevalence of, and predictors for, pathologically-confirmed inflammation of the aorta in Denmark, using a nationwide population-based study design.


We identified all adults with first-time surgery on the ascending aorta between January 1, 1997 and March 1, 2009 in Denmark. Presence of aortic inflammation was ascertained through linkage to a nationwide pathology registry. We used logistic regression to compute prevalence odds ratios (ORs) for sex, age at surgery, cardiovascular risk factors, cancer, connective tissue disease, and infectious diseases associated with the presence of aortitis.


A total of 1,210 adults underwent resection of the ascending aorta, of who 610 (50.4%) had tissue submitted for pathological examination. Aortitis was found in 37 (6.1%) patients whose tissue was examined. Ten of the 37 patients were diagnosed with conditions known to be associated with aortitis or aortic aneurysm: five patients with temporal arteritis, one with Crohn's disease, one with rheumatoid arthritis, one with systemic lupus erythematosus, one with infectious aortitis, and one with Marfan's disease. Twenty-seven patients had idiopathic aortitis. Predictors of aortitis included history of connective tissue disease (adjusted OR 4.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6, 13.6), diabetes (OR 5.2, 95% CI 0.9, 29.7), advanced age (> 67 years OR 2.5, 95% CI 0.8, 7.6), and aortic valve pathology (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1, 4.9).


Aortitis was present in 6.1% of adults in Denmark who had pathological examination after resection of the ascending aorta. Predictors of inflammation included connective tissue disease, diabetes, advanced age, and aortic valve pathology.