Aortic Dissection: A Review of the Pathophysiology, Management and Prospective Advances

Curr Cardiol Rev. 2021;17(4):e230421186875. doi: 10.2174/1573403X16666201014142930.


Aortic dissection is an emergent medical condition, generally affecting the elderly, characterized by a separation of the aortic wall layers and subsequent creation of a pseudolumen that may compress the true aortic lumen. Predisposing factors mediate their risk by either increasing tension on the wall or by causing structural degeneration. They include hypertension, atherosclerosis, and a number of connective tissue diseases. If it goes undetected, aortic dissection carries a significant mortality risk; therefore, a high degree of clinical suspicion and a prompt diagnosis are required to maximize survival chances. Imaging methods, most commonly a CT scan, are essential for diagnosis; however, several studies have also investigated the effect of several biomarkers to aid in the detection of the condition. The choice of intervention varies depending on the type of dissection, with open surgical repair remaining of choice in those with type. In dissections, however, the role of conventional open surgery has considerably diminished in complicated type B dissections, with endovascular repair, a much less invasive technique, proving to be more effective. In uncomplicated type B dissections, where medical choice reigned supreme as the optimal intervention, endovascular repair is being explored as a viable option which may reduce long- term mortality outcomes, although the ideal intervention in this situation is far from settled.

Keywords: Aortic dissection; D-dimer.; acute aortic syndrome; aortic replacement; cardiovascular emergency; endovascular surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Dissection* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection* / surgery
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Endovascular Procedures*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome