Aortic dissection with rupture into the pericardial sac

Case contributed by Dr J. Ray Ballinger


History of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia found unconscious in nursing home.

Patient Data

Age: 81 years
Gender: Male
The AP view of the chest shows widening of the mediastinum and cardiomegaly.
The contrast enhanced CT images show a Stanford type A dissection of the ascending aorta extending retrograde down to the aortic root and rupturing into the pericardial sac causing tamponade. 

Case Discussion

Aortic dissection is associated with hypertension, Marfan's syndrome and a bicuspid aortic valve. It commonly extends antegrade from either close to the aortic root (Type A) or just beyond the left subclavian artery (Type B). Less common is retrograde extension with rupture into the pericardial sac. There is about a 80% mortality within the first 2 weeks and an operative mortality of 25%. Management includes controlling hypertension. Reasons for surgical management include an enlarging aorta and in this case, pericardial tamponade. 

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Case information

rID: 23726
Case created: 5th Jul 2013
Last edited: 18th Sep 2015
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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