Aortic dissection is a serious condition in which the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart, got tears. Blood surges through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate (dissect). If the blood-filled channel ruptures through the outside aortic wall, aortic dissection is often fatal. Normally aortic dissection is relatively uncommon in general. The condition most frequently occurs in men in their 60s and 70s. Symptoms of aortic dissection may imitate those of other diseases, often leading to delays in diagnosis. However, when an aortic dissection is detected early and treated promptly, the chance of survival greatly improves.
Aortic dissection symptoms may be similar to those of other heart problems, such as a heart attack.
The Typical signs & symptoms include:
• Sudden severe chest or upper back pain, often described as a tearing, ripping or shearing sensation, that radiates to the neck or down the back
• Loss of consciousness
• Shortness of breath
• Sudden difficulty speaking, loss of vision, weakness or paralysis of one side of your body, similar to those of a stroke
• Weak pulse in one arm compared with the other.