Fatal late multiple emboli after endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Case report

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  • Center for Medicinsk Uddannelse, Cepome
  • Regionshospitalet Viborg
BACKGROUND: The short term experience of endovascular treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) seems promising but long term randomised data are lacking. Consequently, cases treated by endovascular procedures need to be closely followed for potential risks and benefits. CASE REPORT: A 70 year-old mildly hypertensive male without previous or present arteriosclerotic, pulmonary, or urological manifestations was subjected to endovascular treatment after his mass-screening diagnosed abdominal aortic aneurysm had expanded to above 5 cm in diameter, the aneurysm having been found by CT-scanning and arteriography to be endovascularly treatable. A Vanguard bifurcated aortic stent graft was implanted under epidural/spinal anaesthesia and covered by cephalosporine and heparin (8000 IE) protection. Apart from treatment of a groin haematoma and stenosis of the left superficial femoral artery, the postoperative period presented no problems. A few days before the monthly follow-up visit, the patient developed uraemia, gangrene of one foot and dyspnoea. Blood glucose and LDH was elevated. Deterioration led to death a month and a half after stent implantation. Autopsy showed extraordinary large, extensive soft, brown vegetations in the lower part of the thoracic aorta above the properly infrarenally-placed stent. Microscopic examination revealed multiple microemboli in the liver, spleen, pancreas, intestines, testes, and especially the kidneys. DISCUSSION: Early death from microemboli after aortic stent implantation has been reported. However, the present case developed fatal multiple microemboli so late that they could not have originated from the excluded mural thrombus. The sudden death of an otherwise healthy man of extensive microemboli is difficult to explain. The stent application may have altered the proximal flow and wall movements disposing to microemboli in the case of vegetations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Angiology
Pages (from-to)241-3
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Research areas

  • Aged, Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal, Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation, Embolism, Fatal Outcome, Humans, Male, Postoperative Complications, Stents, Time Factors

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