What is the role of medications in the treatment 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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Initial therapeutic goals include elimination of pain and reduction of systolic blood pressure to 100-120 mm Hg or to the lowest level commensurate with adequate vital organ (ie, cardiac, cerebral, renal) perfusion.

Whether systolic hypertension or pain is present, beta blockers are used to reduce arterial dP/dt.

To prevent exacerbations of tachycardia and hypertension, treat patients with IV morphine sulfate. This reduces the force of cardiac contraction and the rate of rise of the aortic pressure (dP/dt). It then retards the propagation of the dissection and delays rupture.

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