What is an aortic dissection?

An aortic dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta (the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart) to the body, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate (dissect). In type A dissection, the tear begins where the aorta exits the heart (ascending aorta) and extends from the upper to lower sections of the aorta. Although type A dissection is rare, it is the most common type of aortic dissection and occurs mainly in men aged 50 to 65 with high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, or any other abnormality of the aorta.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.