Author(s): Bowdish ME, Weaver FA, Liebman HA, Rowe VL, Hood DB
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Aortic mural thrombi (AMT) in the absence of aortic disease are rare. The appropriate indications and the efficacy of surgical thrombectomy, thrombolysis, and systemic anticoagulation remain controversial. METHODS: This study, set in an academic medical center, was a retrospective review of five patients with AMT in the absence of aortic disease who underwent treatment between 1997 and 2001. The main outcome measures were morbidity, mortality, and treatment outcome. RESULTS: Three patients were women, and ages ranged from 40 to 77 years. On admission, all patients had symptoms related to thrombus embolization (extremity pain or abdominal pain). Two patients had a history of venous thromboembolism (pulmonary embolism or deep venous thrombosis). Four patients had biochemical evidence of hypercoaguability, and the fifth had malignant disease. Coagulation disorders included increased homocysteine (n = 2) and factor VIII (n = 1), antithrombin III (n = 1) and protein C deficiency (n = 1), and familial dysfibrinogenemia (n = 1). AMT were located in the infrarenal (n = 1), suprarenal (n = 3), and descending thoracic (n = 1) aorta. One patient needed exploratory laparotomy and one needed lower extremity vascular procedures for visceral and limb-threatening ischemia, respectively. Treatment with systemic anticoagulation therapy resulted in complete resolution on follow-up computed tomographic scan or angiogram of the AMT at a median of 60 days. CONCLUSION: Most patients in whom AMT develops in the absence of underlying aortic disease have underlying coagulation disorders. Anticoagulation therapy alone allows resolution of AMT, with surgical intervention reserved for management of end organ ischemia from thrombus embolization.
This article was published in J Vasc Surg
and referenced in Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery