Dissecting aneurysm

Acute dissection of the aorta is often associated with severe arterial hypertension. The increased wall stress may invoke (further) intimal tearing. The aim of medical therapy is to diminish wall stress, so that not only arterial blood pressure but also pulse pressure should be reduced. In fact, conservative medical therapy may be as successful as surgical therapy, at least for distal aortic dissection. This is why vasodilating therapy, such as administration of a calcium antagonist which is often accompanied by reflex tachycardia and a rise in cardiac output and pulse pressure, should be combined with b-blocking agents to prevent a rise in wall stress. Alternatively, the combined a- and b-receptor blocker labetalol can be used effectively. Although trimetaphan, a sympatholytic agent, has been the drug of choice in the past for the acute management of aortic dissection because of a lack of reflex tachycardia and rise in pulse pressure, intravenous nitroprusside is now commonly used, together with b-blockers, in the treatment of dissecting aneurysms.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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