Medical Definition of aortic dissection
: a pathological splitting of the middle layer (media) of the aorta following penetration of blood through the inner layer (intima) Early symptoms of aortic dissection are similar to those of a heart attack: severe, persistent chest pain of sudden onset but with the pain moving to the back and occasionally to the abdomen and hips.—Allen Douma, The Chicago Tribune, 1 Sept. 2002 Aortic dissection classically begins with a tear in the aortic intima that exposes a diseased medial layer to the systemic pressure of intraluminal blood.—Eric M. Isselbacher, in Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 22nd edition, 2004
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