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Aortic intramural haematoma: introduction
  1. A Evangelista
  1. Servei de Cardiologia, Hospital Vall d’Hebron, P° Vall D’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain;

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Aortic intramural haematoma (IMH) has been considered a precursor of overt aortic dissection; however, the pathophysiologic mechanism, evolution, and prognosis are rather different from classical dissection. Advances in imaging techniques have facilitated diagnosis and have aided understanding of the natural history of IMH. The considerable information obtained recently on this entity, practically unknown 10 years ago, warrants this mini-symposium.

Jae-Kwan Song, from Seoul, South Korea, comments on the most important diagnostic findings with the use of different imaging techniques. A notable aspect of his discussion is the differential diagnosis with other aortic processes, and the role of these techniques in the follow up. Christoph Nienaber, from Rostock, Germany, describes the natural evolution of IMH and the predictive factors of progression and mortality. Finally, Michael Dake, from Stanford, California, explains his point of view on the therapeutic management of this entity.

At the end of the three chapters, I comment on the most salient aspects of each presentation and contrast them with the experience of our group. I hope that the outstanding knowledge of the contributors to this mini-symposium will greatly aid in improving the diagnosis and management of this entity, which has clearly differential aspects compared other acute aortic syndromes.