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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


JARAMILLO, Nicolás I  and  ALVIAR, Carlos L. Aortic dissection: Basic aspects and endovascular management. Rev. Col. Cardiol. [online]. 2005, vol.12, n.2, pp.64-79. ISSN 0120-5633.

Treatment of thoracic aortic pathology is complicated by the morbidity associated to the surgical procedure and to the frailty of an elderly and difficult population. Surgical operation in this kind of population frequently bears a significant incidence of death and long term disability. In an effort to reduce the incidence of negative outcomes, minimally invasive techniques in the form of endovascular stenting have been introduced during the past decade. The technology, originally described by Parodi, and initially designed for its use in abdominal aortic aneurysms, has been adapted for the treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms. Furthermore, an improved understanding of the pathophysiology and the natural history of thoracic aortic disease as well as the analysis of the outcomes has facilitated our treatment decisions in terms of the timing for an appropriate intervention. Treatment of thoracic aortic dissection using endovascular stent is one of the more recent advances in this condition and is receiving increasing attention as it is a less invasive alternative to an open surgical repair. Although this technology is still innovative, significant improvements have been made lately in the design and deployment of the endovascular stent-grafts. These prostheses have been increasingly used to treat aneurysms, dissections and traumatic ruptures, as well as giant penetrating ulcers and intramural hematomas of the descending thoracic aorta with good early and mid-term outcomes. The rareness, complexity and severity of the pathology and the theoretically high risk of complications should render the surgeon extremely cautious especially with young patients. Conceptually, the endoluminal treatment in the acute phase seems to be the solution and will probably become a preferred therapy while technical refinement is under way. Worldwide experience is growing and with this a better understanding of the indications and limitations of this innovative therapy will be elucidated. The clinical, diagnostic and management perspectives on aortic dissection and its variants, aortic intramural hematoma and atherosclerotic aortic ulcer, are reviewed.

Keywords : aortic dissection; aortic aneurysm; intramural hematoma; aortic penetrating ulcer; stent-grafts; endovascular device; percutaneous treatment; surgical treatment.

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