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What is aortic dissection?

The aorta is the main artery extending from the heart. In the chest, cavity departs from arteries (arteries) to the head and arms; the abdominal cavity departs from arteries to the organs in the stomach. The aorta ends in the pelvis where it splits into two and goes down in each of the legs and changes its name to the iliac artery.

It's called aortal dissection when there is a tear in the aorta so that blood entering the wall of the blood vessel, and means that the inner layers of the vessel wall separate from the outer layer. The symptoms of aortic dissection are sudden, severe chest pain or abdominal pain. These come in seconds, and can radiate between the shoulder blades and back of the back.

It is 60-80 new cases of this complication every year.

What causes aortic dissection?
Aortic dissection caused by a weakness in hovedpulsarens wall. This can be inherited, be a result of atherosclerosis or damage caused by surgery or accidents. Blood flows into the blood vessel wall, and pushes its way along the vessel wall. This can cause the aorta burst, giving rise to a very serious and life-threatening bleeding. In the elderly it is most often atherosclerosis and high blood pressure that cause, among younger are inborn connective tissue diseases or congenital valvular error's more frequent causes.

Aortic dissection is a hyper-acute condition in which it is required with immediate admission to the hospital for treatment.

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How is the diagnosis?
The diagnosis is suspected assuming the typical symptoms, and patients will be immediately admitted to a hospital. The condition can be confused with acute myocardial infarction, or not as much frequently with blood clots in the lungs in hospitals, the diagnosis by CT examinations, or so-called echocardiography or less by MRI.

How is the condition?
Treatment depends on where in the main artery dissection is done. Dissection of the first and the ascending portion of the aorta is most severe (so-called type A dissection) and is often sought surgery as quickly as possible. If there exists only dissection of the descending portion of the aorta, the results are best with conservative treatment, i.e., strict blood pressure treatment and monitoring and operation.

What is the prognosis?
Untreated the prognosis poor mortality is about 20% before the patient reaches the hospital, and approx. 30% during the hospital stay. If treatment is successful, it is found 10-year survival after discharge up to 60%.

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