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Management of patients with aortic dissection.

INTRODUCTION: The incidence of acute diseases of the aorta will continue to rise as our population ages.

METHODS: Selective literature review.

RESULTS/DISCUSSION: At centers specializing in maximum care, it is important that a specific strategy should be established in cases of clinically suspected, acute aortic diseases, and non-invasive diagnostic measures should be taken without delay. If an acute aortic dissection is diagnosed, the necessary treatment must be provided immediately. As this disease is life-threatening, a cooperating network of referring physicians and institutions should be set up in order to ensure optimal treatment for these desperately ill patients. Acute type A aortic dissections generally require surgery, while the primary treatment of uncomplicated type B dissections is conservative and complicated type B dissections can be treated primarily with stent-graft implantation. The referring medical specialists and institutions should follow the patients closely after treatment so that any problems that may develop can be recognized and treated in timely fashion.

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