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Submitted: 06 Nov 2020
Accepted: 09 Jan 2021
ePublished: 30 Jan 2021
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J Cardiovasc Thorac Res. 2021;13(1): 1-14.
doi: 10.34172/jcvtr.2021.15
  Abstract View: 88
  PDF Download: 64

Review Article

Demystifying penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer of aorta: unrealised tyrant of senile aortic changes

Rahul Dev 1* ORCID logo, Khorwal Gitanjali 2 ORCID logo, Darbari Anshuman 3 ORCID logo

1 Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand-249203, India
2 Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand-249203, India
3 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand-249203, India
*Corresponding Author: Rahul Dev, Email: rdev8283@gmail.com

Abstract

This review article describes demographic features, comorbidities, clinical and imaging findings, prognosis, and treatment strategies in penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer (PAU) and closely related entities using google scholar web search. PAU is one of the manifestations of the acute aortic syndrome (AAS) spectrum. The underlying aorta invariably shows atherosclerotic changes or aneurysmal dilatation. Hypertension is the most common contributing factor, with chest or back pain being the usual manifestation. Intramural hematoma (IMH) is the second entity associated with both PAU and aortic dissection (AD), more so with the latter. Chest radiograph can show mediastinal widening, pleural, or pericardial fluid in rupture. Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is the imaging modality of choice to visualize PAU, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) adding diagnostic value. Lesser-known entities of intramural blood pool (IBP), limited intimal tears (LITs), and focal intimal disruptions (FID) are also encountered. PAU can form fistulous communication with adjacent organs whereas IMH may propagate to dissection. CTA aids in defining the management, open or endovascular options in surgical candidates.

Keywords: Aortic Dissection, Computed Tomography Angiography, Intramural Hematoma, Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair, Penetrating Atherosclerotic Ulcer
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