AHA/ACC Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients With Thoracic Aortic Disease (2010)

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Commentary by Reed E. Pyeritz, MD, PhD

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Interactive pathways

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The pathways (algorithms) provided in the Guidelines direct the initial evaluation of patients whose presentations are concerning for AoD and the management of patients in whom the diagnosis of acute thoracic AoD is confirmed. Although clinicians may ultimate choose to deviate from the pathway for patient-specific reasons, the algorithms provide a framework with which to quickly diagnose and provide early management of AoD. This decision model is supported by several large studies that indicate a targeted history and physical examination are likely to identify the vast majority of patients who present with acute AoD. This suggests that adequate screening need not be time intensive or technology dependent.

Three key algorithms from the Guidelines have been adapted here into an interactive format that enable you to see decision points and evidence-based recommendations at a glance, and to access more in-depth information as desired as you progress along the pathway.

1 Hiratzka LF, Bakris GL, Beckman JA, et al. 2010 ACCF/AHA/AATS/ACR/ASA/SCA/SCAI/SIR/STS/SVM Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients With Thoracic Aortic Disease: Executive Summary. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010;55(14):1509-1544. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.02.010.