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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Diseases of the Aorta

Question: Aortic Dissection

 kimmer - Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:40 pm

Every now and then, I get this severe "stabbing" pain in my chest that radiates to my back. After some time (sometimes 15 minutes - hours) it subsides. I do not have high blood pressure, in fact it is on the lower end. I have been told by my MD that I have slightly high cholesterol. In fact at this very moment, I am experiencing these symptoms and it's been bothering for about 4 hrs. (this is the longest episode yet, and it's just killing me), but am apprehensive about going to emergency. Is the symptoms of Aortic Dissection something that might come and go, or does it only happen once?

Thank you :cry:

 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Jan 29, 2005 8:15 pm

User avatar Dear Kimmer,

Whenever you have severe chest pain that lasts that long no matter what the cause might be, please, go to the emergency departement early rather than waiting for several hours in excruciating pain.

Pain of aortic dissection is usually very severe from the begining and then in some patients it can subside if the dissection stops. But it usually continues and follows the pathway of spread of the dissection itself. If the dissection continues to the arm, the patient will have severe arm pain. If it continues to the abdomen, severe excruciating abdominal pain and so forth. In addition to the pain, there are other manifestations that occur depending on which arteries are blocked by the dissection like stroke symptoms if the arteries supplying the brain are occluded and so on.

You have to have risk factors for aortic dissection though, the most common being hypertension. Others include diseases that make the fibrous tissue supporting the aorta weak and easy to dissect, this includes diseases such as Marfan's syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

i can not tell whether or not this pain that you have been having is in fact aortic dissection. You have to be evaluated by a health care professional as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 kimmer - Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:15 am

Dear Doctor,
Thank you so much for your kind reply. I appreciate you gettting back to me so quickly. You've made me feel much more at ease, and am seeing my physician in a few days.

Once again ... THANK-YOU :wink:

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