Diagnosis and Management of Acute Aortic Syndromes: Dissection, Penetrating Aortic Ulcer, and Intramural Hematoma

Curr Cardiol Rep. 2022 Mar;24(3):209-216. doi: 10.1007/s11886-022-01642-3. Epub 2022 Jan 14.


Purpose of review: Acute aortic syndromes, including aortic dissection, intramural hematoma, and penetrating aortic ulcer, are a group of highly morbid, related pathologies that are defined by compromised aortic wall integrity. The purpose of this review is to summarize current management strategies for acute aortic syndromes.

Recent findings: All acute aortic syndromes have potential for high morbidity and mortality and must be quickly identified and managed with the appropriate algorithm to prevent suboptimal outcomes. Recent trials suggest that TEVAR is increasingly useful in stabilizing pathology of the descending thoracic aorta but when possible should be applied in a delayed fashion and with limited coverage to minimize neurologic complications. Treatment for acute aortic syndrome is frequently dictated by the anatomic location and extent of the wall compromise as well as patient comorbidities. Therapy is often individualized and often includes some combination of medical, procedural, and surgical intervention.

Keywords: Acute aortic syndrome; Aortic dissection; Intramural hematoma; Penetrating aortic ulcer; TEVAR; Type B dissection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aorta, Thoracic / diagnostic imaging
  • Aorta, Thoracic / surgery
  • Aortic Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Diseases* / surgery
  • Aortic Dissection* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection* / surgery
  • Hematoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Syndrome
  • Ulcer / complications
  • Ulcer / surgery