“Shaggy” aorta syndrome with atheromatous embolization to visceral vessels
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Spontaneous atheromatous visceral embolization from diffuse aortic atherosclerotic disease is an unusual and poorly understood entity. We have reviewed our experience with 88 patients who suffered atheromatous embolization from a “shaggy” aorta. Visceral embolization was evident in 36 patients (40.9%). Nine were treated nonoperatively with three patients dying within a week of presentation and an additional five patients dying within five years due to continuing renal and intestinal embolization. Surgical correction was undertaken 28 times in 27 patients. Endarterectomy or graft replacement of the aorta did not necessarily prevent visceral infarction or renal failure. Extraanatomic bypass with ligation of the distal external iliac arteries appears to be associated with the lowest morbidity and mortality. Anticoagulation of these patients does not prevent embolization and may be contraindicated for long-term management.
Key words“Shaggy” aorta syndrome atherosclerosis, aortic embolism visceral embolization
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