The aorta is the main and largest artery in the body. It leaves the left ventricle and distributes blood throughout the body. The wall of the aorta is made up of 3 layers of tissue. Aortic dissection is a serious disease in which the inner layer of the wall is detached without damaging the outer layer, accumulating blood in that space and causing the formation of a new channel within the wall of the aorta. aorta. This puts a lot of pressure on the aortic wall with the possibility of rupture.
How is it produced?
Dissection occurs due to injury or rupture of the inner layer of the artery wall. Two-thirds of aortic dissection involves the ascending or type A aorta; the other third affects the descending or type B aorta.
In most cases, the dissection is produced by a deterioration of the arterial wall, the most frequent cause being arterial hypertension that produces a continuous pressure overload on the aorta.
Other causes include inherited connective tissue diseases (such as Marfan syndrome), atherosclerosis, advanced age, congenital cardiovascular abnormalities, trauma, or inflammation of the aorta.
It is classified as acute dissection, if it is diagnosed before fifteen days from the onset of symptoms and chronic dissection, if more than two weeks have elapsed since the onset of symptoms.
The most common symptom (in up to 90% of patients) is acute, sudden, stabbing pain of variable location (chest, back, abdomen) depending on the location of the dissection.
Patients present with an absence or decreased arterial pulse.
Any symptoms related to the injury of the artery and its branches can occur. Thus, neurological symptoms such as embolism, syncope (loss of consciousness) or paraplegia may appear; respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or bleeding from the mouth (hemoptysis); cardiovascular symptoms such as failure of the heart and poor skin color and irrigation.
The diagnosis is based on the physical examination of the patient and the medical history, as w