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Painless aortic dissection in the emergency department

from Medscape (free login required)

Acute aortic dissection (AAD) is one of the "big four" deadly threats in emergency department (ED) patients presenting with chest pain — the other three being acute coronary syndrome, pulmonary embolus, and pericarditis/tamponade. Even though AAD is the rarest of the four conditions (it is estimated that a US emergency physician will diagnose an AAD every 3-4 years), it is the most rapidly fatal and, therefore, we are taught to consider it in every patient presenting with chest pain. more


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