Draped aorta sign

Last revised by Dr Derek Smith on 27 Aug 2021

The draped aorta sign is an important imaging feature that can be seen in contained rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It is highly indicative of aortic wall deficiency. 

This sign is considered present when the posterior wall of an aortic aneurysm drapes or molds to the anterior surface of the vertebra. Usually, the fat planes between the aneurysm and vertebra are lost 1-3

Chronic contained rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm may cause vertebral erosions in up to 30% of cases 4,5.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: with vertebral erosions
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  • Case 2: with vertebral erosions
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  • Case 3
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  • Case 4: with vertebral erosions
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6: with leakage
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  • Case 7: ruptured infrarenal AAA
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