MPH Alumna Publishes Master’s Thesis on Type A Aortic Dissection

The Turpanjian School of Public Health (SPH) of the American University of Armenia (AUA)  is proud to share that alumna Kristine Poghosyan, MD, MPH (‘18), published her master’s thesis, titled “External validation of Leipzig-Halifax scores for aortic dissection in Armenia,” in the international, peer-reviewed academic journal Asian Cardiovascular and Thoracic Annals. Dr. Poghosyan, a cardiologist at the Adult Cardiology Clinic at the Nork-Marash Medical Center (NMMC) in Yerevan, conducted an external validation of two existing risk assessment tools — the original and the adjusted Leipzig-Halifax (LH) scorecards — to predict in-hospital mortality among Armenian patients with acute type A aortic dissection (AAAD). AAAD is a life-threatening condition of the aorta (the largest artery branching off the heart) in which the inner layer tears, causing separation of the inner and middle layers. The best treatment for such patients is surgery. 80% of AADP cases are fatal if left untreated. 

The study included 211 patients who underwent AAAD surgery from January 2008 to April 2018 at NMMC. Both scores demonstrated moderate performance, but the adjusted LH score performed slightly better than the original LH score. The adjusted LH score will be used to report and compare acute outcomes of AAAD surgery in Armenia against international benchmarks.

Poghosyan’s co-authors include AUA alumni and visiting faculty Yeva Sahakyan, MD, MPH (’11) and Lusine Abrahamyan, MD, MPH (’03), PhD, both now at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute; NMMC collaborators Hagop Hovaguimian, MD, FACS and Hasmik Minasyan, MD; and AUA adjunct faculty member Michael E. Thompson, MS, DrPH, based at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The AUA Turpanjian School of Public Health works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and beyond through interdisciplinary education and development of public health professionals to be leaders in public health, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.