Aortic Dissection

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition in which the innermost layer of the aorta artery wall splits open (dissects), causing blood to flow in between the layers of the aorta wall. If the blood bursts through all three layers of the aorta artery wall, massive and rapid blood loss occurs. Thus, aortic dissection is a medical emergency and can quickly lead to death. This condition is also called dissecting aneurism.

Although anyone can develop the condition, it most frequently occurs in men between 60 and 70 years of age. Symptoms of aortic dissection may mimic those of other diseases, often leading to delays in diagnosis. Nevertheless, when an aortic dissection is detected early and treated promptly, the patient's chance of survival greatly improves. Aortic dissections resulting in rupture have an 80% mortality rate, and 50% of patients die before they even reach the hospital. If the dissection reaches 6 cm, the patient must be taken for emergency surgery. Dissection or "internal tearing" of the Ascending Aorta and Aortic Arch is a Lethal condition. only 10% of the patients will make it to Hospital. Early diagnosis is very important and Surgery has to be performed urgently.

According to surgeon Michael E. DeBakey, there are three types of aortic dissection: 1) type I, which originates in ascending aorta, spreading at least to the aortic arch and often beyond it distally; 2) type II, originates in and is confined to the ascending aorta; 3) type III, which begins in descending aorta, rarely extends proximally but will extend distally.


Repair of aortic arch dissection (Video)