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Aortic Dissection

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Aortic dissection facts

  • Aortic dissection occurs when a tear occurs in the inner muscle wall lining of the aorta, allowing blood to split apart the muscle layers of the aortic wall.
  • Symptoms of aortic dissection include a tearing or ripping pain in the chest, sweating, nausea, shortness of breath, weakness, or syncope (fainting). Abdominal aortic dissection can present with abdominal pain radiating to the flank or back.
  • There are two types of dissection: Type A is treated surgically, while type B is treated with medical management.
  • Mortality is high for both types of aortic dissection.
  • Reducing the risk factors for aortic dissection, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and quitting smoking are key to prevention of this condition.


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