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The DeBakey classification, along with the Stanford classification, is used to separate aortic dissections into those that need surgical repair, and those that usually require only medical management.
The DeBakey classification divides dissections into 1-5:
- type I: involves ascending and descending aorta (= Stanford A)
- type II: involves ascending aorta only (= Stanford A)
- type III: involves descending aorta only, commencing after the origin of the left subclavian artery (= Stanford B)
History and etymology
The American cardiothoracic surgeon, Michael DeBakey (1908-2008) 12, with colleagues, were the first group to successfully surgically-treat a patient with aortic dissection in 1955; in their initial cohort of 6 patients, 4 made a full uneventful postoperative recovery 9,10.
In 1965, DeBakey published the paper describing his classification system based upon a series of 179 surgically-treated patients with dissecting aortic aneurysms 11.
Towards the end of 2005, DeBakey had a dissecting aortic aneurysm, and - in what may be a medical first - was successfully operated on using his own procedure. At 98 years, he was the oldest survivor of this emergent procedure 12.
- BAD: see DeBakey Classification (mnemonic)
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