The aorta is the large blood vessel that exits the heart and delivers blood to the body. It is composed of layers of muscle that need to be strong enough to withstand the pressure generated by the beating heart. In some people, a tear can occur in one of the layers of the aortic wall, and blood can track between the wall muscles. This is called an aortic dissection and is potentially life-threatening. The type of dissection and treatment is dependent upon where in the aorta the dissection occurs. Type A dissections are located in the ascending aorta which runs from the heart to the aortic arch where blood vessels that supply the brain and arms exit. Type B dissections are located in the descending aorta that runs through the chest and down into the abdomen.
Hospitalisation rates were only reported in the study involving children and it was found that a higher proportion of patients in the radiograph group (%) required hospitalisation compared to the control group (%) with the result not being statistically significant ( P = ). None of the trials report the effect on mortality , complications of infection or adverse events from chest radiographs. Overall, the included studies had a low or unclear risk for blinding , attrition bias and reporting bias , but a high risk of selection bias . Both trials had strict exclusion criteria which is important but may limit the clinical practicability of the results as participants may not reflect those presenting in clinical practice.