Document Detail

Neurological symptoms in type A aortic dissections.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17194878     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Aortic dissection typically presents with severe chest or back pain. Neurological symptoms may occur because of occlusion of supplying vessels or general hypotension. Especially in pain-free dissections diagnosis can be difficult and delayed. The purpose of this study is to analyze the association between type A aortic dissection and neurological symptoms. METHODS: Clinical records of 102 consecutive patients with aortic dissection (63% male, median age 58 years) over 7.5 years were analyzed for medical history, preoperative clinical characteristics, treatment and outcome with main emphasis on neurological symptoms. RESULTS: Thirty patients showed initial neurological symptoms (29%). Only two-thirds of them reported chest pain, and most patients without initial neurological symptoms experienced pain (94%). Neurological symptoms were attributable to ischemic stroke (16%), spinal cord ischemia (1%), ischemic neuropathy (11%), and hypoxic encephalopathy (2%). Other frequent symptoms were syncopes (6%) and seizures (3%). In half of the patients, neurological symptoms were transient. Postoperatively, neurological symptoms were found in 48% of all patients encompassing ischemic stroke (14%), spinal cord ischemia (4%), ischemic neuropathy (3%), hypoxic encephalopathy (8%), nerve compression (7%), and postoperative delirium (15%). Overall mortality was 23% and did not significantly differ between patients with and without initial neurological symptoms or complications. CONCLUSIONS: Aortic dissections might be missed in patients with neurological symptoms but without pain. Neurological findings in elderly hypertensive patients with asymmetrical pulses or cardiac murmur suggest dissection. Especially in patients considered for thrombolytic therapy in acute stroke further diagnostics is essential. Neurological symptoms are not necessarily associated with increased mortality.
Charly Gaul; Wenke Dietrich; Ivar Friedrich; Joachim Sirch; Frank J Erbguth
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article     Date:  2006-12-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation     Volume:  38     ISSN:  1524-4628     ISO Abbreviation:  Stroke     Publication Date:  2007 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-30     Completed Date:  2007-03-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0235266     Medline TA:  Stroke     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  292-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Neurology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle/Saale, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Aneurysm, Dissecting / classification,  complications,  diagnosis*,  epidemiology
Aortic Aneurysm / classification,  complications,  diagnosis*,  epidemiology
Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological
Middle Aged
Nervous System Diseases / classification,  complications,  diagnosis*,  epidemiology
Retrospective Studies

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