The many faces of aortic dissections: beware of unusual presentations

      Aortic dissection is gaining recognition in Western societies, and it is being diagnosed with increasing frequency. New diagnostic imaging modalities, longer life expectancy, as well as the increase in the number of patients suffering from hypertension have all contributed to the growing awareness of aortic dissection. Nevertheless, as many as 30% of patients ultimately diagnosed with acute dissection are first thought to be suffering from something else. The increased availability and use of multidetector computed tomography have led to the incidental discovery of aortic dissection in very different settings. This article focuses on unusual presentations of painless aortic dissection. It is important for radiologists to remember that aortic dissections may present in different ways, not only as an acute, critical fatality but also with subtle, unusual signs and symptoms, which apparently do not seem to be strictly related to aortic diseases.
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