Acute Aortic Intramural Hematoma Presenting with Painless Recurrent Syncope
A patient presented with recurrent syncope due to transient severe hypotension. The patient's history, physical examination, and initial baseline investigation did not suggest a cardiovascular cause. After fluid resuscitation, a raised jugular venous pulse was noted. Bedside transthoracic echocardiogram showed a pericardial effusion and a proximally dilated aorta. Computed tomography of the thorax confirmed these findings and also demonstrated an intramural hematoma of the proximal aortic wall.
The patient was transferred to a cardiothoracic center, where he was at first treated medically. He then developed sudden cardiogenic shock due to pericardial tamponade and was successfully operated on.
It is important to recognize an acute intramural hematoma of the proximal aortic wall as a cardiothoracic emergency. This condition can present atypically, but nevertheless warrants urgent surgical intervention, equal to type A aortic dissection. Echocardiography can help in making the diagnosis.
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