Sherrah AG, Grieve SM, Jeremy RW, Bannon PG, Vallely MP, Puranik R
Front Cardiovasc Med 2015;2:5
The acute event of thoracic aortic dissection carries with it high mortality and morbidity. Despite optimal initial surgical or medical management strategies, the risk of further complications in the long-term, including aneurysmal dilatation and false lumen (FL) expansion, are not insignificant. Adequate follow-up of such conditions requires dedicated imaging where relevant prognostic indicators are accurately assessed. We perform a systematic review of the literature and report the current evidence for the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in assessment of chronic aortic dissection. We then make a comparison with traditional imaging modalities including computed tomography and echocardiography. We discuss new ways in which MRI may extend existing aortic assessment, including identification of blood-flow dynamics within the TL and FL using phase-contrast imaging.