Since the first description of aortic dissection in the 1700s, the understanding and treatment of this catastrophic disease has evolved. Aortic dissections are identified as a tear in the aortic intima and inner layer of the media that allows for blood flow within the aortic wall. The area of the vessel involved determines its classification. The classification, in turn, helps to predict outcomes, which allows for appropriate treatment planning. The goal of this article is to outline the operative indications and timing for Stanford type A and type B dissections, based on prior reported data and our own clinical experience with 176 patients treated surgically at the Yale Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease. With this data we will revisit the importance of looking at each patient individually to devise an appropriate operative plan, with the knowledge that treatment for type A dissections is operative and treatment for type B dissections is medical unless patients present with actual or impending rupture, malperfusion, or failure of medical management.
View details for PubMedID 16253827