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November 1971

Medical vs Surgical Treatment of Acute Dissecting Aneurysms

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Surg. 1971;103(5):568-573. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350110066010

Forty-five patients had acute aortic dissecting aneurysms. Ten patients were treated symptomatically with 10% survival rate and 13 patients were treated medically with trimethaphan camsylat, reserpine, and guanethidine sulfate with four survivors (30%). Twenty-two patients were treated surgically. Two died pre-operatively, 1 during aortography and the other during induction of anesthesia, five during surgery, and six postoperatively. The high operative survival rate (70%) was decreased by significant postoperative mortality. The one-year survival rate was 40%. Although specific indications for the medical treatment of acute aortic dissection exist, surgical therapy remains the treatment of choice.