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.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/5/2015