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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2003 June;162(2-3):45-50
Aortic dissection: incidence, clinical presentation and prognosis. A 6-year retrospective study
Genovesi Erbert A., Baldini U., Savoia M. T., Raugi M., Digiorgio A., Carluccio M., Di Santo D., Paperini L., Venturini C., Bini G., Pauletti M., Galli M.
U. O. di Cardiologia e Unità Coronarica, Ospedale Civile di Livorno, Livorno, Azienda USL 6 Livorno, Livorno
Aim. The aim of the study is to evaluate the incidence of aortic dissection, to compare it to that of other causes of chest pain and to review the clinical presentation of aortic dissection.
Methods. The 1996-2002 data of overall hospital recordings, coronary care units and echocardiographic laboratories have been retrospectively evaluated.
Results. Forty aortic dissections have been recorded, 31 type A and 9 type B, that means 3.6 cases/100 000 inhabitants/year, 1 case/200 hospital admissions for coronary chest pain. Arterial hypertension was present in 33% of cases. Chest pain was observed in 72%, syncope in 23%, neurologic symptoms in 7%, cardiac tamponade in 15% and relevant aortic valve insufficiency in 30%. The diagnosis was obtained by means of echocardiography in 92%. The overall mortality was 40% at 6 years with a follow-up of 27±20 months.
Conclusion. Aortic dissection is a relatively rare disease, and the symptoms are often aspecific and similar to other and more frequent diseases. Echocardiography is a useful technique. Overall mortality is still high.