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Aortic Dissection - How to prevent?

Aortic Dissection - Causes and Risk Factors


Aortic dissection is due to the splitting of the layers of the wall (dissection) of the aorta, the main artery in the body and is usually related to very high blood pressure. The pain is usually described as a tearing pain in the chest, radiating to the back. The dissection may extend into the origin of the aorta and block off one or more of the coronary arteries, leading to a heart attack. Aortic dissection is a medical emergency.

Risk Factors

Aortic dissection has the following risk factors:

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the major risk factor for aortic dissection. If the force of the blood pressing against the aortic wall is too high, it can lead to tearing of the wall. 
  • Certain congenital diseases, such as Marfan’s syndrome, can cause connective tissues in the aortic wall to stretch and weaken, making them susceptible to tearing and rupture. 
  • Bicuspid aortic valve, where the aortic valve has two leaflets instead of the usual three, is another congenital disease that can increase the risk of aortic dissection. 
  • People with aortic aneurysm (bulging aorta) and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) also have a higher risk of suffering from aortic dissection.

Aortic Dissection - Preparing for surgery

Aortic Dissection - Post-surgery care

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