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Expert Opin Med Diagn. 2012 Nov;6(6):529-40. doi: 10.1517/17530059.2012.704362. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Recent advances in the diagnosis of acute aortic syndromes.

Author information

  • 1University of Duisburg- Essen, West-German Heart Center Essen, Department of Cardiology , Hufelandstraße 55, 45122 Essen , Germany +49 201 723 4807 ; +49 201 723 5931 ; alexander.janosi@uk-essen.de.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is an acute lesion of the aortic wall involving the aortic media. In patients presenting with AAS, establishing a timely diagnosis is of paramount importance as mortality from AAS increases by 1 - 2% per hour. Acute aortic syndrome comprises a variety of pathologically distinct life-threatening conditions such as aortic dissection, intramural hematoma (IMH) of the aorta, penetrating aortic ulcer (PAU), traumatic transection and symptomatic aortic aneurysm.

AREAS COVERED:

The aim of this article was to review recent progress in the diagnosis and therapeutic management of these syndromes. In the past few years, imaging techniques have increased our understanding of the natural history of these disease entities. Patients presenting with AAS require immediate diagnosis in order to rapidly initiate adequate therapeutic measures. Diagnostic imaging modalities that can be used for diagnosing this condition are transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography (TTE and TEE, respectively), computed tomography angiography (CTA), magnetic resonance imaging and angiography in combination with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).

EXPERT OPINION:

Patients presenting with AAS require immediate diagnosis for rapid initiation of adequate therapeutic measures. The best method to correctly diagnose acute aortic dissection and its complications is complementary use of CTA, TEE and angiography in combination with IVUS to improve visualization of aortic syndromes and to guide aortic stent graft implantation.

PMID:
23480835
[PubMed]
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