Chest pain while gardening: a Stanford type A dissection involving the aortic root extending into the iliac arteries-an uncommon and potentially catastrophic disease process.
International Journal of Emergency Medicine
BACKGROUND: An aortic dissection is an uncommon and potentially catastrophic disease process that carries with it a high morbidity and mortality. The inciting event is a tear in the intimal lining of the aorta. This allows passage of blood through the tear and into the aortic media, resulting in the creation of a false lumen.
CASE PRESENTATION: We describe the case of a 71-year-old male with a history of hypertension that suffered a Stanford type A dissection with an intimal flap beginning at the level of the aortic root and extending into the bilateral iliac arteries. His clinical presentation was further complicated by shock, cardiac tamponade, severe coagulopathy, an ischemic right lower extremity, infarction of his thoracic spinal cord, and subacute infarcts secondary to malperfusion and embolic disease. Despite maximal intervention, the patient continued to clinically decline and ultimately died on day 5.
CONCLUSION: The clinical presentation of an acute aortic dissection is often atypical and mimics other common disease processes. The signs and symptoms largely depend on the extent of the aortic dissection and the presence or absence of malperfusion. With a mortality increasing by 1-2% for every hour until definitive treatment, early recognition and prompt operative intervention are crucial for patient survival.
Taylor GM, Barney MW, McDowell EL. Chest pain while gardening: a Stanford type A dissection involving the aortic root extending into the iliac arteries-an uncommon and potentially catastrophic disease process. Int J Emerg Med. 2019 Aug 30;12(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12245-019-0237-8. PMID: 31470790; PMCID: PMC6717387.