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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Aortic aneurysm dissection
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Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Potentially life-threatening emergency

Aortic aneurysm dissection

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Contributors: Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Ryan Hoefen MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Aortic aneurysm dissection is an intramural tear of the aorta instigated by a dilation, or aneurysm, of the aorta. Aortic aneurysm dissection is a life-threatening emergency. Tears often occur in the intimal layer of the aorta, with blood collecting into the medial layer. Back pain is the common presenting symptom. Syncope and hypotension occur less frequently. Aortic dissections most often occur in older males. Most aortic aneurysms are asymptomatic before rupture or dissection. Etiology of the aortic aneurysm depends on its location. Ascending aortic aneurysms are primarily caused by medial degeneration in diseases such as Marfan syndrome. Descending aortic aneurysms are primarily caused by atherosclerosis.

Beta blockers are the primary medical treatment. Surgical intervention is indicated for many types of aortic dissection. Even with appropriate treatment, mortality from aortic aneurysm dissection is very high.

Codes

ICD10CM:
I71.01 – Dissection of thoracic aorta

SNOMEDCT:
155420000 – Dissecting aortic aneurysm

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Updated: 05/13/2019
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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Aortic aneurysm dissection
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View all Images (7)
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Aortic aneurysm dissection : Abdominal pain, Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Epigastric pain, Neck pain, Shoulder pain, BP decreased
Imaging Studies image of Aortic aneurysm dissection
Axial image from CT scan of the chest demonstrating dissection of the thoracic aorta. This is a type A dissection involving the ascending and descending thoracic aorta.
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