Surgical and intensive care patients are at a heightened risk for arterial embolization due to pre-existing conditions such as age, hypercoagulability, cardiac abnormalities and atherosclerotic disease. Most arterial emboli are clots that originate in the heart and travel to distant vascular beds where they cause arterial occlusion, ischemia, and potentially infarction. Other emboli form on the surface of eroded arterial plaque or within its lipid core. Thromboemboli are large clots that dislodge from the surface of athesclerotic lesions and occlude distal arteries causing immediate ischemia. Atheroemboli, which originate from fracturing the lipid core tend to cause a process of organ dysfunction and systemic inflammation, termed cholesterol embolization syndrome. The presentation of arterial emboli depends on the arterial bed that is affected. The most common manifestations are strokes and acute lower limb ischemia. Less frequently, emboli target the upper extremities, mesenteric or renal arteries. Treatment involves rapid diagnosis, which may be aided by precise imaging studies and restoration of blood flow. The type of emboli, duration of presentation, and organ system affected determines the treatment course. Long-term therapy includes supportive medical care, identification of the source of embolism and prevention of additional emboli. Patients who experienced arterial embolism as a result of clots formed in the heart should be anticoagulated. Arterial emboli from atherosclerotic disease of the aorta or other large arteries should prompt treatment to reduce the risk for atherosclerotic progression, such as anti-platelet therapy and the use of statin drugs. The use of anticoagulation and surgical intervention to reduce the risk of arterial embolization from atherosclerotic lesions is still being studied.
Arterial embolism; atheroembolism; atherosclerosis; complication; diagnosis and management; thromboembolism
The present series present three consecutive cases of successful percutaneous mechanical embolectomy in acute superior mesenteric artery ischemia. Superior mesenteric artery embolism is a rare abdominal emergency that commonly leads to bowel infarction and has a very high mortality rate. Prompt recognition and treatment are crucial for successful outcome. Endovascular therapeutic approach in patients with acute SMA embolism in median portion of its stem is proposed.
Three male patients had experienced a sudden abdominal pain and acute superior mesenteric artery embolism in median portion of its stem was revealed on computed tomography angiography. No signs of intestinal infarction were present. The decision for endovascular treatment was made in concordance with the surgeons. In one patient 6 French gauge Rotarex® device was used while in others 6 French gauge Aspirex® device were used. All patients experienced sudden relief of pain after the procedure with no signs of intestinal infarction. Minor procedural complication – rupture of a smaller branch of SMA during Aspirex® treatment was successfully managed by coiling while transient paralytic ileus presented in one patient resolved spontaneously. All three patients remained symptom-free with patent superior mesenteric artery during the follow-up period.
Percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy seems to be a rapid and effective treatment of acute superior mesenteric artery embolism in median portion of its stem in absence of bowel necrosis. Follow-up of our patients showed excellent short- and long-term results.
acute mesenteric ischemia; superior mesenteric artery embolism; percutaneous mechanical thrombectomy; Aspirex®; Rotarex®
Acute mesenteric ischemia and infarction is an emergent situation associated with high mortality, commonly due to emboli or thrombosis of the mesenteric arteries. Embolism to the mesenteric arteries is most frequently due to a dislodged thrombus from the left atrium, left ventricle, or cardiac valves. We report a case of 70-year-old female patient with an acute small bowel infarction due to a mesenteric artery embolism dislodged from a left atrial appendage detected by intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography and followed by anticoagulation therapy.
Left atrial appendage; Small bowel infarction; Thrombus; Transesophageal echocardiography
Although atrial fibrillation is the most frequent cause of embolic stroke, coronary embolism from atrial fibrillation is a very rare cause of acute myocardial infarction. Therefore, simultaneously presented acute ischemic stroke and acute myocardial infarction due to atrial fibrillation in the same patient has not been documented. The present report describes the case of a 58-year-old man with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation who initially presented with a large cerebral infarction due to embolic occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery. Four hours after the diagnosis of cerebral embolism, he was subsequently diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction due to concurrent coronary embolism. He underwent successful coronary revascularization with a drug-eluting stent. The possibility of combined coronary embolism as a rare etiology should be kept in mind when a patient with acute embolic stroke presents, especially when there is evidence of acute myocardial infarction.
Atrial fibrillation; Cerebral infarct; Embolism; Myocardial infarction; Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
Paradoxical embolism is defined as a systemic arterial embolism requiring the passage of a venous thrombus into the arterial circulatory system through a right-to-left shunt. It is a relatively rare phenomenon, representing about 2% of all cases of arterial embolism. We report a case of a 79-years-old woman admitted to hospital because of dyspnea and lower left limb pain. CT scan revealed multiple thrombi to kidney, lower limb and superior mesenteric artery during acute pulmonary embolism. Echocardiogram documented a patent foramen ovale with a right-to-left shunt. The patient was treated with thrombolytic therapy and heparin with progressive improvement of symptoms and resolution of pulmonary embolism and peripheral thrombosis. Patent foramen ovale closure was not performed because a life-long anticoagulation therapy was necessary, a tunnel-type patent foramen ovale may increases difficulty in realizing device implantation and there are no clear evidence-based guidelines to date addressing treatment in presence of a patent foramen ovale.
To investigate the risk profile of patients with thrombosis and emboli, and prognostic factors for death or amputation in patients presenting with acute limb ischemia in a tertiary care regional hospital in Brazil.
A prospectively planned cohort study was carried out in which 83 patients with acute limb ischemia, secondary to thrombosis, or embolism, classified in stages II and III of severity were evaluated. Univariate analysis and logistic regression models were used to explore the relationship between anthropometric and demographic characteristics, comorbidities, cardiovascular risk factors, duration of occlusion, and type of surgery with the incidence of amputation or death, which were evaluated in 30 days and 1 year thereafter.
Male gender, smoking, and comorbidities were more frequent among patients with thrombosis, and atrial fibrillation was more common among patients with embolism. Occlusion longer than 24 hours (odds ratio [OR] 2.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–7.6) and a trend for diabetes (RR 2.6, 95% CI 0.9–7.5) were the characteristics associated with death or amputation in the multivariate analysis, which occurred in 15 (18.1%) and 24 (28.9%) of the participants, respectively. Reperfusion injury was a risk factor for death but not for amputation (OR 16.9, 95% CI 1.1–232.9) after adjustment for age, duration of occlusion, and diabetes.
Traditional and avoidable risk factors explain the occurrence of thrombosis and embolism in our region. Access to medical care is the most important and modifiable prognostic factor for death or amputation.
acute limb ischemia; embolism; thrombosis; prognostic factors
Acute thromboembolic occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery is a condition with an unfavorable prognosis. Treatment of this condition is focused on early diagnosis, surgical or intravascular restoration of blood flow to the ischemic intestine, surgical resection of the necrotic bowel and supportive intensive care. In this report, we describe a case of a 39-year-old woman who developed a small bowel infarct because of an acute thrombotic occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery, also involving the splenic artery.
A 39-year-old Caucasian woman presented with acute abdominal pain and signs of intestinal occlusion. The patient was given an abdominal computed tomography scan and ultrasonography in association with Doppler ultrasonography, highlighting a thrombosis of the celiac trunk, of the superior mesenteric artery, and of the splenic artery. She immediately underwent an explorative laparotomy, and revascularization was performed by thromboendarterectomy with a Fogarty catheter. In the following postoperative days, she was given a scheduled second and third look, evidencing necrotic jejunal and ileal handles. During all the surgical procedures, we performed intraoperative Doppler ultrasound of the superior mesenteric artery and celiac trunk to control the arterial flow without evidence of a new thrombosis.
Acute mesenteric ischemia is a rare abdominal emergency that is characterized by a high mortality rate. Generally, acute mesenteric ischemia is due to an impaired blood supply to the intestine caused by thromboembolic phenomena. These phenomena may be associated with a variety of congenital prothrombotic disorders. A prompt diagnosis is a prerequisite for successful treatment. The treatment of choice remains laparotomy and thromboendarterectomy, although some prefer an endovascular approach. A second-look laparotomy could be required to evaluate viable intestinal handles. Some authors support a laparoscopic second-look. The possibility of evaluating the arteriotomy, during a repeated laparotomy with a Doppler ultrasound, is crucial to show a new thrombosis. Although the prognosis of acute mesenteric ischemia due to an acute arterial mesenteric thrombosis remains poor, a prompt diagnosis, aggressive surgical treatment and supportive intensive care unit could improve the outcome for patients with this condition.
Brachial artery aneurysms are relatively rare and are mostly pseudoaneurysms rather than true aneurysms, as true aneurysms are even rarer entities. Patients can be asymptomatic, or present with pulsatile masses, or ischemia due to associated thromboembolic complications. Distal embolism can occur with transient or minimal ischemic symptoms; however, aneurysm itself can thrombose entirely. The authors report a case of upper limb acute ischemia caused by true brachial artery aneurysm thrombosis in an elderly man, managed by reconstructive vascular surgery.
Brachial Artery; Aneurysm; Ischemia; Limb Salvage
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome is a rare cause of upper intestinal obstruction resulting from compression of the duodenum by the superior mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta.
We describe a case of superior mesenteric artery syndrome in a 61-year-old Japanese man with non-small cell lung cancer who had been treated with cisplatin-containing chemotherapy and had lost 7 kg in weight. The diagnosis was confirmed by the typical findings of abdominal computed tomography showing distended stomach resulting from compression of the third portion of the duodenum and reduction of an aortomesenteric distance and aortomesenteric angle.
This case highlights the importance of considering the possibility of superior mesenteric artery syndrome in patients treated with chemotherapy, especially those presenting with a low body mass index and showing weight loss during chemotherapy.
superior mesenteric artery syndrome; body weight loss; emesis; non-small cell lung cancer
Mesenteric ischemia is classified as either acute or chronic. The former is a life-threatening emergency in which a sudden reduction in intestinal blood flow may ultimately result in bowel infarction. The most common causes are arterial embolism, arterial thrombosis, nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia, and mesenteric venous thrombosis. A high index of suspicion, early diagnosis and rapid intervention are necessary so that normal mesenteric perfusion is restored before fatal bowel infarction can occur. Chronic mesenteric ischemia is usually caused by stenotic or occlusive disease involving the proximal segments of the mesenteric arterial supply to the bowel, usually as a result of atherosclerosis. Intestinal angina is the classic presentation, defined as recurrent postprandial abdominal pain that subsides in 1 to 2 hours, with associated weight loss and aversion to food. When combined with the clinical presentation, physical examination, and laboratory data, imaging plays a key role in the diagnosis of either acute or chronic mesenteric ischemia. Recognition of pertinent imaging findings and various treatment options may aid in preventing the serious and possibly fatal sequelae that may occur in cases of mesenteric ischemia.
Acute mesenteric ischemia; chronic mesenteric ischemia; nonocclusive mesenteric ischemia; intestinal angina
The Arc of Buhler (AOB) represents a persistence of the ventral anastomosis between the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and the celiac arterial systems. The exact incidence of the AOB is not known, but it is believed to be ≤ 4%. Aneurysms of this rare anomaly are even more uncommon. We report a case of an aneurysm of the AOB with an intact pancreaticoduodenal artery arcade (PDAA) and near occlusive celiac origin stenosis. Stenoses or occlusions of the celiac origin have been reported in association with AOB aneurysms, as well as in patients with PDAA aneurysms. Transcatheter embolization (TCE) was successfully performed, thereby excluding the AOB aneurysm while preserving flow through the PDAA. To our knowledge, this is the first report of successful percutaneous treatment of an AOB aneurysm. The pathophysiology and management AOB and PDAA aneurysms are reviewed. Review of the literature suggests that TCE, when feasible, is at least as effective as conventional surgery in patients with PDAA aneurysms, but with lower morbidity and mortality. Based on this data and our experience, we believe that TCE should be the initial treatment of choice in patients with PDAA or AOB aneurysms.
Visceral aneurysm; pancreaticoduodenal arcade; Arc of Buhler; pancreaticoduodenal artery
Intravascular migration of bullets and other foreign bodies is a rare but known complication of penetrating trauma. Missile embolization can represent a diagnostic challenge because it may present in various and unexpected ways. We present the case of a 54-year-old female who sustained shotgun pellet emboli to the pulmonary arteries following a left upper extremity gunshot wound and related vascular surgery. The case illustrates bilateral embolization, and the embolic events occurred following surgery. Embolization should be considered in evaluating patients with gunshot wounds, particularly if there are anomalous symptoms or the projectile is not found in the original, or expected, location. Close attention to the location of the foreign bodies on serial radiographs may reveal the diagnosis of intravascular embolization.
Shotgun pellet; pulmonary emboli; intravascular; migration; surgery
Acute occlusion of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a rare phenomenon. Its possible complications include distal spasm followed by arterial thrombosis, ischemia of the distal limbs, distal embolization, acidosis, hyperkalemia, and the development of venous thrombosis of the lower limbs. Surgical correction is often complicated by cardiac decompensation, renal failure, fatal pulmonary embolism, and metabolic derangements related to toxins released from the revascularized limb. Unless contraindicated, immediate systemic heparinization must be undertaken when the diagnosis is first suspected.
We present a case of sudden occlusion of an abdominal aortic aneurysm complicated by venous thrombosis involving both lower extremities. After undergoing surgical revascularization, the patient sustained massive fatal pulmonary emboli. Prophylactic interruption of the inferior vena cava may be indicated in patients who present with this complication of abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Isolated dissection of the superior mesenteric artery is a rare occurrence with a hitherto unknown exact etiology. Patients may present with abdominal symptoms or hemodynamic instability.
We herein present a case of spontaneous isolated superior mesenteric artery dissection in a 48-year-old man, who was admitted with epigastric pain. Due to an undiagnosed paced rhythm on the electrocardiogram, he was given fibrinolysis treatment for acute myocardial infarction. On further evaluation, angiography revealed that the cause of pain was the dissection of the superior mesenteric artery. The patient’s symptoms were diminished with conservative management, obviating the need for the angioplasty of the superior mesenteric artery.
Mesenteric artery, superior; Dissection; Diagnosis
Coronary emboli are rare but devastating events. We present the case of a 31-year-old woman with peripartum cardiomyopathy and mural thrombus. She was admitted with an acute, non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. Two emboli were seen on the coronary angiogram: one in the left anterior descending coronary artery and a second in the left circumflex artery. Each embolus resolved after local infusion of eptifibatide at the time of angiography. There has been 1 report in the English-language medical literature of a similar coronary embolic event in the setting of peripartum cardiomyopathy; however, in that case, only 1 embolus was found. Our case further documents embolic coronary occlusion as a consequence of peripartum cardiomyopathy.
Adult; coronary angiography; coronary thrombosis/complications/diagnosis; echocardiography; electrocardiography; eptifibatide; female; human; myocardial diseases/complications; myocardial infarction/diagnosis/therapy; platelet glycoprotein GPIIB-IIIA complex; pregnancy complications, cardiovascular; thromboembolism/diagnosis/etiology; ventricular function, left
Background. Hemobilia is a rare, jeopardizing complication of laparoscopic cholecystectomy coming upon usually within 4 weeks after surgery. The first-line management is angiographic coil embolization of hepatic arteries, which is successful in the majority of bleedings: in a minority of cases, a second embolization or even laparotomy is needed. Case Presentation. We describe the case history of a patient in which laparoscopic cholecystectomy was complicated 3 weeks later by massive hemobilia. The cause of haemorrhage was a pseudoaneurysm of a right hepatic artery branching off the superior mesenteric artery; this complication was successfully managed by one-stage angiographic embolization with full recovery of the patient.
Acute embolic occlusion of the common iliac artery is a rare medical emergency that is not only limb-threatening, but also potentially life-threatening. Several treatment options exist for acute limb ischemia, although no treatment is clearly best. We report a case of acute embolic occlusion of the left common iliac artery in a patient with atrial fibrillation who was treated successfully using mechanical thrombectomy following intra-arterial thrombolysis.
Peripheral vascular disease; Thrombolytic therapy; Thrombectomy; Embolism
A 5 1/2-year experience of 147 patients with arterial embolism of the limbs is reported. The mean age was 66.9 years, range 24-90 years and the male to female ratio was 1.07 to 1. Two distinct types of embolic episode with very different clinical consequences were recognised. Type I (64%) in which large emboli occluded the proximal arteries of the lower limb. They were usually treated by embolectomy and were followed by death or permanent disability in 63% of patients. Type II (36%) in which small emboli occluded the arterial supply of the upper limb or the arteries of the distal lower limb. Embolectomy was performed in only 60% of cases. Death was unusual and disability occurred largely as a consequence of non-surgical management. After occlusion of the aorta, iliac or femoral arteries embolectomy is necessary to save both life and limb while after embolism of the arm or distal lower limb it is essential for the preservation of function.
An extrahepatic arterioportal fistula (APF) involving the gastroduodenal artery and superior mesenteric vein is rare and mostly results from iatrogenic injuries. The clinical symptoms associated with APFs may include abdominal pain, gastrointestinal bleeding, ascites, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or even congestive heart failure. We present the case of a 70-year-old man who presented with chronic abdominal pain and gastrointestinal bleeding secondary to APF and portal vein thrombosis. The endovascular embolization of APF was accomplished successfully, and symptoms of portal hypertension resolved immediately after intervention. Unfortunately, the patient did not respond well to anticoagulation therapy with warfarin. Therefore, the patient underwent implantation of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, and the complications of portal hypertension resolved. In conclusion, the embolization of APF is technically feasible and effective and can be considered the first-choice therapy in selected patients.
Extrahepatic arterioportal fistula; Portal vein thrombosis; Embolization; Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt
Thrombosis of the celiac artery trunk is a rare cause of acute abdominal pain. Thrombosis of the celiac artery carries a high mortality and morbidity when the diagnoses and treatment are delayed. It is frequently associated with other cardiovascular events. The most common etiology is atherosclerosis. 20–30% of cases may have symptoms of chronic mesenteric ischemia. Main goal of the treatment is to reestablish the diminished or stopped mesenteric blood flow and to avoid end-organ ischemia. Essential thrombocythemia is a chronic myeloproliferative disorder characterized by marked increase in thrombocyte number and clinical presentation may be with thrombotic episodes, hemorrhage, or both. To our knowledge this is the first report of celiac artery thrombosis and superior mesenteric artery stenoses in a patient with essential thrombocythemia. The patient was managed successfully with surgical treatment.
During an histological study of pulmonary thromboembolism, arterial wall splits, many associated with saccular microaneurysms, were observed in association with emboli or their fibrous residue. Other aneurysmal lesions, non-inflammatory focal medial necrosis, and medial scars were also seen in a few cases. The nature of the arterial rents indicates that they arose by mechanical splitting after acute stretching of the artery at the time of embolic impaction. Saccular aneurysms then developed in some. Impaction could also have caused the foci of medial necrosis while the medial scars could represent healed former necrosis of rupture. Though the observed incidence of lesions was relatively low, this seems to be due to their small sizes and the sampling inherent in conventional histological analysis. It is concluded that arterial splits are probably a common effect of pulmonary embolism and often give rise to small aneurysms.
To report a case of acute superior mesenteric artery (SMA) embolism successfully treated with aspiration and pharmacological thrombolysis. A 74-year-old female was admitted to the hospital with acute abdominal pain 5 hours in duration. Computed tomography angiography revealed a complete embolic occlusion distal to the first jejunal branch of the SMA. Aspiration and local continuous thrombolysis with urokinase resulted in near complete revascularization of the mesenteric flow after 4 hours and almost complete restoration after 20 hours. The patient made a complete recovery and continues to do well on warfarin therapy after treatment. Aspiration and thrombolytic therapy can be an alternative treatment modality in surgical high risk patient.
Superior mesenteric artery embolism; Aspiration; Thrombolysis
Paradoxical emboli occur when venous embolic material passes into the arterial circulation (via a right-to-left cardiac shunt). The association of paradoxical emboli and arterial ischaemia has been described previously, especially with respect to cerebral infarcts. We describe a case in which double paradoxical emboli following a long haul flight, resulted in emergency amputation of an upper limb. Amputation resulting from a paradoxical embolus has not previously been described.
A case of celiac artery embolism in a patient with factor V Leiden thrombophilia is reported. The embolism was likely due to an undetected cardiac thrombus, causing an abdominal aortic embolism. The patient underwent emergency surgery for the abdominal embolism. The celiac artery embolism was treated nonsurgically due to the presence of collateral circulation through the gastroduodenal artery from the superior mesenteric artery. The patient fully recovered and was discharged from the hospital one month after his first referral.
Celiac artery embolism; Factor V Leiden; Thrombophilia
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome is a rare but well-known clinical entity characterized by compression of the third or transverse portion of the duodenum against the aorta by the superior mesenteric artery, resulting in chronic, intermittent, or acute, complete or partial, duodenal obstruction. The treatment for this arteriomesenteric compression includes conservative measures and surgical intervention. The aim of the study was to evaluate our surgical management and outcomes of the patients with superior mesenteric artery syndrome. The cases with superior mesenteric artery syndrome admitted between January 2000 and January 2010 were retrospectively investigated from the patients’ records. All six patients had a history of chronic abdominal pain, nausea, postprandial early satiety, vomiting, and weight loss. Diagnostic methods included barium esophagogastroduodenography, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and computed tomography. Medical management was the first step of treatment in all cases before surgery. Of those, four underwent Roux-en-Y duodenojejunostomy and two underwent gastroenterostomy. Postoperative periods were uneventful and mean duration of hospitalization after the operations was 7 days. Conservative initial treatment is usually followed by surgical intervention for the main problem that is the narrowing of the aortomesenteric angle in patients with superior mesenteric artery syndrome. This syndrome should be considered in the differential diagnosis in patients with chronic upper abdominal pain. Duodenojejunostomy is the most frequently used procedure with a high success rate.
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome; Intestinal obstruction; Diagnosis; Surgical management