The role of imaging in aortic dissection and related syndromes

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014 Apr;7(4):406-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2013.10.015.


Aortic aneurysm and acute aortic syndrome are not uncommon conditions. Management of acute aortic dissection and related syndromes requires a multidisciplinary approach with input from the patient, clinician, imager, surgeon, and anesthesiologist. This requires an integrated evaluation of pathophysiology, anatomy, and severity to enable appropriate therapy. This review includes discussion of essential anatomy of the aortic valve and the aorta that determines the candidacy for surgical repair. It also includes discussion of various imaging modalities, particularly echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography, and cardiac magnetic resonance angiography. The relative benefits and demerits of each of these techniques are reviewed. This paper is intended to help guide management decisions for patients with acute aortic dissection and related syndromes.

Keywords: acute aortic syndromes; aortic dissection; aortic intramural hematoma; aortic ulcer; cardiovascular imaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Aortic Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Aneurysm / physiopathology
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Dissection / physiopathology
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery
  • Aortography
  • Critical Pathways
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Echocardiography
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Syndrome