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Cite this article
Acute Aortic Syndromes: Pathophysiology and Management
1 Division of Cardiovascular Disease, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
2020 Division of Cardiology, Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2008, 9(2), 111–124;
Published: 30 June 2008
The acute aortic syndromes carry significant morbidity and mortality, especially when detected late. Symptoms may mimic myocardial ischemia, and physical findings may be absent or, if present, can be suggestive of a diverse range of other conditions. Main taining a high clinical index of suspicion is crucial in establishing the diagnosis. All patients with suspected aortic disease and evidence of acute ischemia on electrocardio gram should undergo diagnostic imaging studies before thrombolytics are administered. The demonstration of an intimal flap separating 2 lumina is the basis for diagnosis. Tear detection and localization are very important because any therapeutic interven tion aims to occlude the entry tear. The goals of medical therapy are to reduce the force of left ventricular contractions, decrease the steepness of the rise of the aortic pulse wave, and reduce the systemic arterial pressure to as low a level as possible without compromising perfusion of vital organs. Surgical therapy still remains the gold standard of care for type A aortic dissection, whereas in type B dissection, percuta neous aortic stenting and fenestration techniques have been developed and are some times used in conjunction with medical therapy in certain situations.
Acute aortic syndromes