Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm (ATAA) is among the most devastating forms of cardiovascular disease, causing a significant mortality despite current medical and surgical treatments [1]. Moreover these therapies themselves are associated with great risk of mortality or morbidity, complicated by the advanced age of the typical patient, and high surgical costs. The mechanics of spontaneous aortic dissection is not fully understood. It is generally believed that aortic dissection initiates as an intimal tear in which a separation of wall layers produces the formation of a ‘false’ lumen. The dissection may propagate axially and/or circumferentially due to blood flow and pressure. Dissection may lead to several possible complications. For example, the septum between the false lumen and true lumen may fracture, resulting in embolism and ischemic damage. Another possibility is that the thinned and weakened residual outer aortic wall may fail, resulting in rapid blood loss and tamponade.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.