Clinical characteristics of spontaneous isolated visceral artery dissection

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Abstract

Objective:

Spontaneous isolated visceral artery dissection (SIVAD) involving the celiac artery or superior mesenteric artery is rare, but it can be fatal. Given its rare incidence, the clinical characteristics of SIVAD are not fully understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics and prognosis of SIVAD.

Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed 39 consecutive patients diagnosed with SIVAD from January 2007 to December 2016. Demographic characteristics, symptoms, vital signs, blood examination results, and computed tomography findings were retrieved through medical record review.

Results:

The median age of the patients was 52 years; 94.9% were male, and 64.1% were symptomatic. Median follow-up duration was 11 months. Overall, hypertension (48.7%) and smoking (79.5%) were frequently observed. There were significant differences between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in white blood cell count and creatine kinase level but not in fibrin degradation products or D-dimer level. There was a significant correlation between symptoms and length of dissection on computed tomography (P < .01). Conservative treatment was performed in 32 patients (82.1%), and only 7 patients required open surgery or intravascular intervention. Notably, the diameter of affected vessels decreased spontaneously with no rupture or symptom recurrence during follow-up, and mortality was 0% at both 30 days and 1 year.

Conclusions:

The utility of blood examination, especially for fibrin degradation products and D-dimer levels, for diagnosis of SIVAD is limited. A high index of suspicion is warranted in patients presenting with persistent severe abdominal pain. Conservative treatment should be considered first-line therapy in patients without any signs of bowel ischemia or rupture.

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