Contemporary Management of Type B Aortic Dissection in the Endovascular Era

Surg Technol Int. 2016 Apr:28:214-21.


Aortic dissection (AD) is one of the most common catastrophic pathologies affecting the aorta. Anatomic classification is based on the origin of entry tear and its extension. Type A dissections originate in the ascending aorta, whereas the entry tear in Type B dissections starts distal to the left subclavian artery. The patients with aortic dissection who manifest complications such as rupture, malperfusion, aneurysmal degeneration, and intractable pain are classified as complicated AD. Risk factors for developing aortic dissection include age, male gender, and aortic wall structural abnormalities. The most common presenting symptom of acute aortic dissection is pain. Malperfusion occurs as a result of end-organ ischemia due to involvement of aortic branches from the dissecting process. This can happen in various locations causing mesenteric ischemia (mesenteric vessels), stroke (aortic arch vessels), renal failure (renal arteries), spinal ischemia, and limb ischemia (iliac or subclavian arteries). Aneurysmal degeneration is the most common complication of patients with chronic Type B dissection who are managed with medical therapy. Management of Type B aortic dissection (TBAD) remains controversial. Many groups recommend conservative therapy for newly diagnosed TBAD and reserve surgical management for patients who develop complications such as rupture, malperfusion, aneurysmal dilatation, and refractory pain. The mainstay of medical therapy includes antihypertensive medication to reduced ΔP/ ΔT by lowering blood pressure and heart rate. With the continued success of thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR), this procedure has been extended to treat TBAD in selected patients. The outcomes of TEVAR are promising, with early mortality rates from 10% to 20%. With promising results from these series, some groups recommend early TEVAR in uncomplicated TBAD to prevent future adverse events. The goals of endovascular treatment of TBAD are to cover the entry tear, treat or prevent impending rupture, reestablish organ perfusion, restore flow in the true lumen, and induce the false lumen thrombosis. Patients with TBAD need long-term follow-up.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Aortic Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Aortic Dissection / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Conservative Treatment / methods
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Thoracic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antihypertensive Agents