Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (contained)
Severe back pain.
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Patient was referred to CT scan to exclude aortic dissection. Little did the patient know, a contained rupture of a previously unknown abdominal aortic aneurysm was diagnosed.
Surgery was performed and the patient walked home two weeks later.
Ruptured aneurysms present with severe abdominal or back pain and hypotension / shock. The mortality rate from a ruptured AAA is high: 59 to 83% of patients die before they make it to hospital or undergo surgery. The operative mortality rate for those who make it to surgery is approximately 40%.
The gold standard but high radiation dose. Excellent for pre-operative planning as it accurately delineates the size and shape of the AAA and its relationship to branch arteries and aortic bifurcation. Also superior to ultrasound in detecting and sizing common iliac artery aneurysms.