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      Aortic Intramural Hematoma: An Increasingly Recognized Aortic Disease

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          Abstract

          Aortic intramural hematoma (IMH) is a rarely diagnosed pathological condition that is not well characterized to date. We diagnosed IMH in 4 of 31 patients with suspected aortic dissection admitted to our coronary care unit from 1992 to 1995. In all 4 cases, IMH was located in the ascending aorta. At the time of hospitalization, all patients showed tachycardia, hypotension and pericardial effusion. Diagnosis of IMH was made by transesophageal echocardiography and computed tomography. We performed aortography in 2 patients, but it was non-diagnostic in both of them. One patient died before surgery. Autopsy confirmed the diagnosis of IMH and showed severe pericardial effusion. In another patient, the diagnosis was confirmed during successful surgery, while the remaining 2 patients recovered after medical therapy. The 3 surviving patients are still under follow-up control 12, 16 and 20 months after the initial acute event. We briefly discuss the epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic aspects of IMH.

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          Most cited references 1

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          The diagnosis of thoracic aortic dissection by noninvasive imaging procedures.

          This study was designed to assess the safety and reliability of new noninvasive imaging methods as compared with aortography in the diagnosis of dissection of the thoracic aorta. One hundred ten patients with clinically suspected aortic dissection followed a diagnostic protocol that included transthoracic and transesophageal color-flow Doppler echocardiography (TTE and TEE), contrast-enhanced x-ray computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Imaging results were compared in a blinded fashion and validated independently against intraoperative findings in 62 patients, autopsy findings in 7, and the results of contrast angiography in 64. The sensitivities of MRI, TEE and x-ray CT for detecting dissection were similar, at 98.3, 97.7, and 98.3 percent, respectively; TTE had a sensitivity of only 59.3 percent (P < 0.005). The specificities of both TTE (83.0 percent) and TEE (76.9 percent) were lower than those of x-ray CT (87.1 percent) and MRI (97.8 percent; P < 0.05), mainly as a result of false positive findings in the ascending aorta. MRI and x-ray CT were more sensitive than TTE in detecting the formation of thrombus in the entire thoracic aorta (P < 0.05), but were not superior to TEE in this regard. CT was not effective in detecting an entry site or aortic regurgitation, but MRI and TEE accurately identified both. Two patients died during or soon after CT and TEE, and three died between retrograde angiography and surgery. A noninvasive diagnostic strategy using MRI in all hemodynamically stable patients and TEE in patients who are too unstable to be moved should be considered the optimal approach to detecting dissection of the thoracic aorta. Comprehensive and detailed evaluation can thus be reduced to a single noninvasive diagnostic test in the investigation of suspected dissection of the thoracic aorta.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            CRD
            Cardiology
            10.1159/issn.0008-6312
            Cardiology
            S. Karger AG
            0008-6312
            1421-9751
            1998
            March 1998
            16 March 1998
            : 89
            : 3
            : 178-183
            Affiliations
            a Cattedra di Cardiologia, Università degli Studi di Parma e Brescia, b Servizio di Cardiologia, Guastalla, c Divisione di Cardiologia, Bassano del Grappa, Italia
            Article
            6784 Cardiology 1998;89:178–183
            10.1159/000006784
            9570431
            © 1998 S. Karger AG, Basel

            Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

            Page count
            Figures: 4, Tables: 1, References: 27, Pages: 6
            Categories
            General Cardiology

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