Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm

Case contributed by Derek Smith
Diagnosis certain


Back pain, with increased inflammatory markers. Lumbar spine XR to assess for discitis.

Patient Data

Age: 50 years
Gender: Male

Normal included spine and pelvis.

Large peripherally calcified fusiform midline structure.

Infrarenal aortic aneurysm, maximally measuring 10.8 cm.

Left retroperitoneal stranding indicating aneurysm rupture. No active leak on arterial or delayed venous phase imaging (not included).

This also demonstrates the draped aorta sign - with the posterior wall of the aorta following the contour of the adjacent vertebral body as it decompresses into the soft tissues.

Case Discussion

This was an unexpected finding for the clinical team, and was urgently assessed by imaging and underwent open operative fixation that day.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.