What is the DeBakey classification of acute aortic dissection (AAD)?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: John M Wiesenfarth, MD, FACEP, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

The DeBakey classification divides dissections into 3 types, as follows:

  • Type I involves the ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending aorta

  • Type II is confined to the ascending aorta

  • Type III is confined to the descending aorta distal to the left subclavian artery

Type III dissections are further divided into IIIa and IIIb. Type IIIa refers to dissections that originate distal to the left subclavian artery but extend proximally and distally, mostly above the diaphragm.

Type IIIb refers to dissections that originate distal to the left subclavian artery, extend only distally, and may extend below the diaphragm.

Thoracic aortic dissections should be distinguished from aneurysms (ie, localized abnormal dilation of the aorta) and transections, which are caused most commonly by high-energy trauma.


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