Aortic intramural hematoma (IMH) is a clinical condition that has still not been completely defined. We conducted a meta-analysis of reported cases and analyzed the demographic profiles, imaging modalities, pathologic sites, and treatment strategies in relation to outcome in 143 patients with IMH. We performed an English language search of Medline for manuscripts with the keywords "aortic diseases," "aorta AND hematoma," and "intramural hematoma." Data from 143 reported cases were extracted. IMH of the aorta has a reported incidence of 5% to 20% among patients with acute aortic syndromes and a mortality rate of 21%. Most patients were men (61%) and median age was 68 years (range 15 to 88). Hypertension was a predisposing factor in 53% of the patients. Most patients had chest and/or back pain (80%). Transesophageal echocardiography, computer tomographic scan, or magnetic resonance imaging may be effectively used to diagnose this condition. There is no difference in the overall mortality rates in Stanford type A versus type B patients. Patients with Stanford type A IMH who underwent surgery, compared with those who underwent medical management, had a significantly better prognosis (14% vs 36% mortality, respectively, p < 0.02). Patients in Stanford group A who received medical treatment had a higher mortality rate than those in group B who received medical treatment (36% vs 14% mortality respectively, p < 0.02). In type B patients, medical and surgical outcomes were similar.