Ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) single-photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT) has arisen as an alternative to computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA) in patients with pulmonary embolism (PE) suspicion. The addition of low dose CT (ldCT) to V/Q SPECT improves the specificity of the test, allowing for potential alternative diagnosis.Patient concerns and diagnosis:
Here we presented a case of an aortic intramural hematoma (IMH) diagnosed on the ldCT portion of V/Q SPECT combined with CT. A 74-year-old man suffering from sudden-onset chest pain was referred to our nuclear medicine department for PE suspicion.Intervention and outcome:
A V/Q SPECT combined with nonenhanced ldCT ruled out PE diagnosis. Nevertheless, ldCT revealed high attenuation aortic wall thickening suggestive of aortic IMH. Chest CT angiography showed mild dilatation and circumferential thickening of aortic wall confirming Stanford type A IMH involving the entire ascending aorta.Lesson:
This case illustrates the potential usefulness of combining ldCT to V/Q SPECT in providing alternative diagnosis in suspected PE patients.