AORTIC DISSECTION - Overview, Facts, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis...


Aortic Dissection occurs when the aorta bleeds through the middle layer, when the damage prolongs the tear it will lead the aorta’s layer to split. One of these layers, particularly the inner one, can acquire a tear. 

The aorta is the massive artery that ascends from the heart’s lower chamber. Located at the left side of the vital organ, its job is to supply blood that’s abundant in oxygen all over the body. It is also a blood vessel formed by three layers.


Aortic Dissection is classified into two types: 

  • Type A Aortic Dissection describes the tear situated near the heart and can endanger a life. This condition requires an immediate surgery to mend or to change the area of the aorta, where the tear originated from.  

There’s a 10 to 20 percent chance of a patient dying from this immediate surgery, based on the patient’s condition during the operation. 

  • Type B Aortic Dissection points to a tear that’s more remote from the heart. This condition may not necessarily need a surgery initially, but comprehensive blood pressure control therapy is important. 

Patients with Type B Aortic Dissection may consume medications for blood pressure before the surgical operation is done. However, when the tear blocks blood flow to vital organs (legs, intestines, kidneys, and spinal cord), they need immediate intervention.


At the initial occurrence of Aortic Dissection, the patient will feel the sensation of stinging in their chest and back, and other symptoms:

  • Breath shortness.
  • Dizziness or fainting.
  • Pulse that’s rapid yet weak.
  • Symptoms associated with stroke.

It’s estimated that 40 percent of patients experience immediate death from Aortic Dissection. The risk of death is at one to three percent up to the time of patient treatment.


There are factors associated with Aortic Dissection, which may point to its diagnosis. These factors are: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Aneurysm
  • Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries)
  • Genetic conditions such as a bicuspid aortic valve
  • Connective tissue conditions, such as Marfan syndrome
  • Traumatic injury
  • Family history of aortic dissection


There are three kinds of treatment for Aortic Dissection: 

  • Surgery
  • Endovascular treatment
  • Medication

The treatment will be based on the severity of the aorta involved, the aorta is replaced during open surgery. A fabric tube, called a graft, takes the place of the aorta. The placement of a stent-graft, a fabric tube but has metal wire stents supporting it, is also done.

The stent-grafts are given in an endovascular way, meaning they’re situated above a wire that runs through an opening in the groin, then goes upward into the aorta. 

The “elephant trunk” procedure is also accomplished. Here, the aorta near the heart and the aortic arch are mended. Then another graft is placed onto the downstream aorta, which appears similar to an elephant’s trunk. The ‘trunk’ is where an endovascular stent graft is placed while another procedure is done. 

In this kind of condition, the prescribed medications may include beta-blockers, which aim to lower blood pressure and heart rate.

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