We review current knowledge regarding the natural transition of aortic dissection from acute to chronic stages. As this is not well understood, we also bring to bear new data from our institution. Type A dissection rarely transitions naturally into the chronic state; consequently, information is limited. Type B dissections are routinely treated medically and indeed undergo substantial changes during their temporal course. General patterns include: 1) the aorta dilates and, absent surgical intervention, aortic enlargement may cause mortality; 2) continued false lumen patency, particularly with an onlyÂ partially thrombosed false lumen, increases aortic growth, whereas calcium-channel blockers affect aortic dilation favorably; 3) aortic dilation manifests a temporal dynamic, with early rapid growth and deceleration during transition; 4)Â the intimal flap dynamically changes over time via thickening, straightening, and loss of mobility; and 5) temporal remodeling, on the cellular level, initially shows a high grade of wall destruction; subsequently, significant fibrosis ensues.