Volume 5 (2012) Issue 3 Pages 310-320
Despite improved outcomes of acute type A aortic dissection (AAAD), many patients die at the moment of onset, and hospital mortality is still high. This article reviews the latest literature to seek the best possible way to optimize outcomes. Delayed diagnosis is caused by variation in or absence of typical symptoms, especially in patients with neurological symptoms. Misdiagnosis as acute myocardial infarction is another problem. Improved awareness by physicians is needed. On arrival, quick admission to the OR is desirable, followed by assessment with transesophageal echocardiography, and malperfusion already exists or newly develops in the OR; thus, timely diagnosis without delay with multimodality assessment is important. Although endovascular therapy is promising, careful introduction is mandatory so as not to cause complications. While various routes are used for the systemic perfusion, not a single route is perfect, and careful monitoring is essential. Surgical treatment on octogenarians is increasingly performed and produces better outcomes than conservative therapy. Complications are not rare, and consent from the family is essential. Prevention of AAAD is another important issue because more patients die at its onset than in the following treatment. In addition to hereditary diseases, including bicuspid aortic valve disease, the management of blood pressure is important.