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Aortic Heart Dissection Care icon

Can’t Miss Diagnoses – Aortic Dissection

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Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the prevalence of and risk factors for aortic dissection
  • Classify the different types of aortic dissections
  • Explain the physiology of aortic dissections
  • Maintain a high degree of suspicion for aortic dissections during differential diagnosis
  • Treat aortic dissections appropriately, based on type
  • Order appropriate imaging tests to confirm and/or rule out aortic dissections

Course Description

This course examines the risk factors for aortic dissection. It also encourages learners to maintain a high degree of suspicion when diagnosing patients to ensure that instances of aortic dissection are quickly recognized and treated.

Author Information

Course development guided by the expertise of Dr. Per Danielsson, who is a board-certified internist at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. In his Can’t Miss Diagnoses courses, Dr. Danielsson shares his deep expertise in identifying endangered patients, treating underlying causes, and responding to challenging cases by navigating through a variety of therapy options. Good outcomes in these cases require swift, well-informed diagnosis and treatment.

Did You Know...

  • Mortality is 40% on presentation of aortic dissection, plus 1–2% with each passing hour
  • 39% of aortic dissection cases are only recognized >24 hours after admission—very late!—and 20–40% are diagnosed at autopsy
  • Outcomes improve sharply with prompt surgery, falling to 15–20% mortality at one month and 45% at ten years
  • Aortic dissection is survivable, but it requires rapid expert diagnosis and treatment.

Course at a Glance

target audience icon Target Audience:


time to complete icon Time to Complete:

20–30 Minutes

contributor icon Contributor:

Swedish Medical Center

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