To evaluate the efficacy of intravascular stenting for acute aortic dissection, 12 dogs underwent surgical creation of an acute type B dissection. Intravascular ultrasound evaluated luminal diameter, distal propagation, and branch involvement. Three animals underwent no further treatment (control). In 9 dogs, balloon-expandable intravascular stents (15-20 mm) were placed proximally to compress the intimal flap. One dog with a small dissection had complete obliteration of the false lumen after initial stent placement. Six dogs with extension below the diaphragm were initially stented proximally to restore flow; 3 were left with a residual distal false lumen, while 3 had additional stents placed to obliterate their entire false lumen. In the final 2 dogs, proximal stenting resulted only in partial compression of the false lumen. Two animals died within 24 hr due to prolonged hemodynamic instability and aortic rupture at the intimal flap, respectively. Six weeks later, radiologic and histologic evaluation was performed on the 10 surviving animals. All stented true lumens were patent without thrombus formation, and stents were covered by neointima. In dogs with stenting of the entire dissection, the aortic wall had healed and no false lumen was present. However, in all dogs with only proximal obliteration, 1/2 with partial compression, and 2/3 controls, a patent false channel was present indicative of a chronic dissection. Thus, we found that intravascular stents can restore true lumen flow and obliterate the false lumen in experimental dissections; however, stenting limited to the proximal dissection does not prevent formation of a chronic residual patent false lumen.