Aortic Dissection Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, DSc, MSc, AGAF  more...
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DDx

Diagnostic Considerations

Consider thoracic aortic dissection in the differential diagnosis of all patients presenting with chest pain. The pain is usually localized to the front or back of the chest, often the interscapular region, and typically migrates with propagation of the dissection.

The pain of aortic dissection is typically distinguished from the pain of acute myocardial infarction by its abrupt onset, though the presentations of the two conditions overlap to some degree and are easily confused. Aortic dissection can be presumed in patients with symptoms and signs suggestive of myocardial infarction but without classic electrocardiographic findings.

Differential Diagnoses