Management of a Spontaneous Supra-aortic Arterial Dissection

A Case Report

Omar M. Sharaf; Tomas D. Martin; Eric I. Jeng


J Med Case Reports. 2021;15(283) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Acute DeBakey type I and type II aortic dissections are indications for emergent surgical repair; however, there are currently no standard protocols in the management of isolated supra-aortic dissections. Prompt diagnosis and management of an isolated innominate artery dissection are necessary to prevent distal malperfusion and thromboembolic sequelae.

Case Presentation: A 50-year-old Caucasian gentleman presented with chest pain radiating to his jaw and right arm. He had no recent history of trauma. On physical exam, he was neurologically intact and malignantly hypertensive. Computed tomographic angiography of the chest and neck confirmed a spontaneous isolated innominate artery dissection without ascending aorta involvement. Given the lack of evidence for rupture, distal emboli, and/or end-organ malperfusion, the decision was made for initial non-operative management—anti-impulse regimen, antiplatelet therapy, and close follow-up.

Conclusions: Medical management of a spontaneous isolated innominate artery dissection is appropriate for short-term and potentially long-term therapy. This not only spares the patient from a potentially unnecessary surgical operation but also provides the surgeon and the patient the time to plan for a surgical approach if it becomes necessary.