Aortic Dissection: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments


The aorta is the largest artery in the body. It is responsible for delivering oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to the other parts of the body. Aortic dissection occurs when there is a tear in the inner segment of a weakened region of the aorta. Aortic dissection can lead to death if it is not attended to on time. Your doctor may recommend drugs or surgery depending on the severity of your condition.

An aortic dissection usually starts suddenly when the inner layer of a weak area in your aorta tears. Blood moving through the tear separates (dissects) the inner and middle layer. Diverted blood flows between the tissue layers impeded blood flow to the other parts of the body. In some cases, your aorta may rupture completely.