We describe four patients aged 14 to 21 years who developed acute aortic dissection. In three of the four patients, the course was fatal, despite aggressive medical and surgical intervention. All four patients had sustained systemic hypertension related to chronic renal insufficiency. The patients had no other identifiable risk factors for aortic dissection, including congenital cardiovascular disease, advanced atherosclerosis, vasculitis, trauma, pregnancy, or family history of aortic dissection. Although aortic dissection is rare in individuals younger than 40 years of age, young patients with sustained systemic hypertension are at increased risk for this serious and often fatal condition. Physicians must be aware of this rare complication of hypertension and consider aortic dissection in the differential diagnosis of unusual chest, abdominal, and back pain in hypertensive children, adolescents, and young adults.
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- Aortic dissection
- Chronic renal insufficiency