Published online Jun 28, 2014. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v6.i6.355
Revised: February 26, 2014
Accepted: April 17, 2014
Published online: June 28, 2014
Core tip: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a spectrum of conditions, which may ultimately progress to potentially life-threatening aortic rupture. This syndrome encompasses aortic dissection (AD), intramural haematoma, penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer and unstable thoracic aortic aneurysms. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is crucial in the diagnosis of AAS in the emergency setting due to its speed, accuracy and ready availability. This review will focus on the use of MDCT in AAS including the imaging protocols, spectrum of radiological findings, implications for planning and follow-up of endovascular and surgical treatment, and potential diagnostic pitfalls.