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June 6, 1986

Names for Aneurysms

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University Medical School Chicago

JAMA. 1986;255(21):2899. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370210067020

To the Editor.—  Several statements regarding aortic aneurysm in the review by H. A. Koolpe1 of Angiography of Vascular Disease require further examination.Dr Koolpe claims that in the past seven years, "dissecting hematoma" has largely replaced the "obsolete" expression "dissecting aneurysm." While it is true that not all dissections are aneurysms, an aneurysm could result from dissection because of weakening of the arterial wall. In fact, aneurysm rupture is responsible for many late fatalities.2 The term "dissecting aneurysm," therefore, denotes the possibility of aneurysm formation in aortic dissection and is used interchangeably with "aortic dissection." If "dissecting hematoma" is used, it will underscore the significance of intrinsic aortic disease such as media degeneration in Marfan's syndrome.The term "dissecting aneurysm" continues to be used in the writings of many prominent surgeons and physicians, including M. E. DeBakey,3 M. W. Wheat,4 and E. S. Crawford2