The diagnosis of type A aortic dissection (involving the ascending aorta) can be made with two-dimensional echocardiography, but surgeons usually demand angiographic confirmation. Between January 1983 and February 1984, 10 patients presented at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto with type A aortic dissection. Six patients underwent two-dimensional echocardiography early in their evaluation. A positive diagnosis was made in four, based upon visualization of an intimal flap or a false lumen. In the other two patients, the findings of an enlarged ascending aorta and pericardial effusion were suggestive but not diagnostic. Three patients survived operation and are alive and well (follow-up ranging from 3 to 5 months). One patient died while awaiting surgery, one died during aortography and one died during operation. All echocardiographic and angiographic findings were confirmed at surgery or at autopsy. It is concluded that two-dimensional echocardiography can diagnose ascending aortic dissection quickly, accurately, easily and without risk to the patient. In selected cases the presence of a false lumen or of an intimal flap makes it possible to proceed with operation without delay or the potential hazards of aortography.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Surgery|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1985|
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