A case report of unexpected sudden cardiac death due to aortic rupture following laparoscopic appendectomy

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Abstract

Introduction:

Aortic dissection is a very rare but life-threatening condition associated with a high mortality. Unexpected sudden cardiac death due to aortic rupture following laparoscopic appendectomy is very rare and may be difficult to diagnose. However, early diagnosis of aortic dissection is essential for the timely treatment and outcome of aortic dissection.

Case presentation:

A 50-year-old man underwent a laparoscopic appendectomy. Postoperatively, the patient complained of dyspnea and chest pain. In 25 minutes after arrival in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), the patient was in asystole. Then, he underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) according to advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) protocol using 1 mg of epinephrine, one 200J DC shock for ventricular fibrillation (V-fib). After that, his noninvasive blood pressure (NIBP) was 80/40 mm Hg, pulse rate (PR) was 140 beats/min, and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) was 84%. His electrocardiogram (ECG) finding was atrial fibrillation (A-fib). After 20 minutes, the patient developed asystole rhythm again and CPR was restarted. He remained severely hypotensive despite vasopressors and died after 5 hours CPR. A forensic autopsy was performed postmoterm and thoracic and abdominal aortic dissection along the root of ascending aorta was present and massive hematoma within right and left thorax was present.

Conclusion:

Acute aortic disease can be difficult to recognize; therefore, diagnosis is sometimes delayed or missed. It is important to recognize the atypical symptoms of aortic dissection and maintain a broad differential diagnosis if patients complained of abdominal pain.

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