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2. Symptoms

Symptoms of aortic dissection can mimic those of a heart attack. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common signs and symptoms experienced by people with aortic dissection include:

  • Sudden and severe chest pain described as a tearing or ripping sensation
  • Sudden or severe abdominal pain
  • Anterior chest pain
  • Neck or jaw pain
  • Mild chest pain in some cases
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in mental status: difficulty speaking, loss of vision, weakness or paralysis of one side of the body (similar to that of a stroke)
  • Weak pulse in one arm
  • Leg pain
  • Difficulty walking
  • Leg paralysis
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