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DeBakey classification

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 29 Apr 2021

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.

Both the Stanford and DeBakey systems can be used to describe all forms of acute aortic syndrome (dissection, aneursym, penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer and intramural hematoma).

Classification

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)

Mnemonic

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: type I
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  • Case 1: type I
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  • Figure 2: type II
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  • Case 2: type II
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  • Figure 3: type III
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  • Case 3: type III
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  • Case 4: type III
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  • Case 5: type I
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