Aortic dissection



A tear in the inner layer of the body's main artery, called the aorta.


An aortic dissection is a medical emergency. In this condition, a tear occurs in the inner layer of the large blood vessel branching off the heart. This blood vessel is called the aorta. Aortic dissection is most common in men in their 60s and 70s.


Symptoms include sudden, severe chest pain that spreads to the neck or down the back and sudden stomach pain. Other symptoms include loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, and stroke symptoms such as trouble seeing, speaking or moving.


Treatment includes surgery to fix the aorta and medicines, such as beta blockers.