|Heart and Main Vessels|
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- A major chest injury, such as an auto accident
- A hereditary connective tissue disorder
- Nearing the end of a pregnancy
- Untreated syphilis
- Sudden, ripping pain in the chest and or back
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden weakness
- Chest x-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body
- Echocardiogram —a test that uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to examine the size, shape, and motion of the heart
- CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the body
- MRI scan —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of structures inside the body
- Aortography—x-rays taken after dye is injected into the aorta through a surgically placed catheter
- Follow and control blood pressure
- Ask your doctor to check you over if you have any of the risk factors for aortic dissection
- Keep hyperlipidemia under control through diet and/or medications
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org/
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Isselbacher K, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1998.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy website. Available at: http://www.merck.com/mrkshared/CVMHighLight?file=/mrkshared/mmanual/section16/chapter211/211b.jsp%3Fregion%3Dmerckcom&word=aortic&word=dissection&domain=www.merck.com#hl%5Fanchor . Accessed July 2005.
Mukherjee D, Eagle KA. Aortic dissection–an update. Curr Probl Cardiol . 2005 Jun;30(6):287-325.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -
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