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July 1956


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Medical Service, Morrisania Hospital. Visiting Physician (Dr. Zendel); Resident in Medicine (Dr. Paulin).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(1):106-111. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250250112015

DISSECTING aneurysm of the aorta is a clinical entity which, at the present time, is being diagnosed during life with increasing frequency. No longer is this diagnosis the exclusive province of the pathologist at the postmortem table. Shennan,1 in his comprehensive monograph on the subject, states somewhat ruefully that, "of 16 cases encountered post mortem, none were diagnosed during life." Clinical awareness of the possibility of this condition as a cause of catastrophic cardiovascular illness is now so widespread that a similar compilation today would undoubtedly show that the correct diagnosis had been made, or at least suspected, in a considerable percentage of the cases.

As long as there was no adequate treatment for this almost invariably fatal condition, correct diagnosis, though of course desirable, was somewhat academic. The remarkable progress of cardiovascular surgery in the past decade affords promise that some method of correcting or alleviating this largely

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