Aortic dissection is a devastating cardiovascular condition with an incidence of 3,5:100 000. It is classified according to anatomic extent, mechanism of lesion, duration from index event and course (uncomplicated vs. complicated). Intramural hematoma and penetrating aortic ulcers share many of the features of classic dissections, but tend to occur in older patients with advanced atherosclerosis. In uncomplicated type-B dissection, conservative treatment with tight blood pressure and heart rate control is safe and effective. Early stentgraft implantation may, however, result in more favorable aortic remodeling and reduced late complications. For acute complicated cases intervention is usually required. Stent-graft coverage of the entry tear frequently resolves malperfusion, but the role of the false lumen in organ perfusion must be assessed and endovascular revascularization performed if necessary. In chronic type-B dissections, coverage of the entry tear likely results in continued pressurization of the false lumen due to rigidity of the dissecting membrane and distal fenestrations. Better understanding of the different disease mechanisms involved, imaging advances and introduction of dedicated stent-grafts are expected to further improve patient outcomes in the future. Primary and secondary pharmacological prevention, stricter followup protocols and screening of family members may also prove valuable. Better patient selection will allow preventive treatment with low morbidity for those at higher risk of complications.

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery: a journal on cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery
Department of Vascular Surgery

Gonçalves, F. B., Metz, R., Hendriks, J., Rouwet, E., Muhs, B., Poldermans, D., & Verhagen, H. (2010). Decision-making in type-B dissection: Current evidence and future perspectives. The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery: a journal on cardiac, vascular and thoracic surgery (Vol. 51, pp. 657–667). Retrieved from