Document Detail

Abdominal pain, atherosclerosis, and atrial fibrillation. The case for mesenteric ischemia.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7169938     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
DT, a 63-year-old white male with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and severe peripheral vascular disease, was admitted with a five-day history of vague abdominal pain and diarrhea. On the day of admission he vomited three times, was noted to have a bloody stool, and came to the emergency room. DT denied hematemesis, fever, or chills. He had bilateral leg amputations and had sustained three myocardial infarctions, the last one 15 months before this admission. He had never experienced symptoms of abdominal angina. Of significance was his history of congestive heart failure, mitral regurgitation, and atrial fibrillation. His medications on admission included digoxin 0.25mg per day, furosemide 40mg per day, and NPH insulin 15 units per day. On admission to the hospital his oral temperature was 38 degrees C, pulse was 90/min, respiratory rate was 24/min, and blood pressure was 134/80mmHg. Abdominal examination revealed a distended abdomen with hypoactive bowel sounds and mild tenderness. Chest x ray revealed cardiomegaly. The electrocardiogram demonstrated atrial fibrillation. A plain film of the abdomen was positive for gallstones and edema of the bowel wall (thumb-printing). Laboratory results included blood urea nitrogen 48mg%, creatinine 1.2mg%, hemoglobin 18g/dl, and hematocrit 52.9%. White blood cell count was 11,900 cells/cc with 33% polymorphonuclear leukocytes, 47% bands, 8% lymphocytes, 11% monocytes, and 1% atypical lymphocytes. The prime considerations for differential diagnosis were mesenteric ischemia and infectious gastroenteritis. While it was appreciated that mesenteric ischemia, if present, might warrant surgical intervention, the risk of anesthesia itself in this patient was felt by his attending physicians to exceed 30%. Furthermore, the clinical findings were only "suggestive" of mesenteric eschemia. They were certainly not "diagnostic." In view of this dilemma, a consultation with the Division of Clinical Decision Making was requested.
R E Cormier; B A Chase; G S Peterson; S G Pauker
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medical decision making : an international journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making     Volume:  2     ISSN:  0272-989X     ISO Abbreviation:  Med Decis Making     Publication Date:  1982  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1983-06-23     Completed Date:  1983-06-23     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8109073     Medline TA:  Med Decis Making     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  323-39     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Abdomen / physiopathology
Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
Decision Making*
Diagnosis, Differential
Gastroenteritis / diagnosis*
Ischemia / diagnosis*
Mesentery / blood supply
Middle Aged
Pain / physiopathology
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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