What causes an Aortic Dissection

Aortic dissection involves bleeding into and along the wall of the aorta (the major artery from the heart), most often because of a tear or damage to the inner wall of the artery. This usually occurs in the thoracic (chest) portion of the aorta but may occur in the abdominal portion also.

The exact cause is unknown, but risks include atherosclerosis and hypertension. Traumatic injury is a major cause of aortic dissection, especially blunt trauma to the chest as with the steering wheel of a car during an accident. Aortic dissection may also be associated with other injury, infection, congenital weakness of the aorta, collagen disorders such as Marfan's syndrome, pseudoxanthoma elastoma, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, relapsing polychondritis, or abdominal aortic aneurysm. Pregnancy, valve disorders (including aortic insufficiency), and coarctation of the aorta may also be associated with aortic dissection.

Aortic dissection occurs in approximately 2 out of 10,000 people. It can affect anybody, but it is most often seen in men 40 to 70 years old.


courtesy of healthcentral.com



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