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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 161-163

Fatal rupture of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm in a Nigerian patient

1 Department of Histopathology, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mustapha Akanji Ajani
Department of Histopathology, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_20_18

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Aortic aneurysms are rare conditions in black patients and carry a high mortality if detected late. Unfortunately, the rarity of the condition makes detection a difficulty for many physicians as diagnosis in the early stages requires a high index of suspicion. The varied symptoms presented by the patient often mimic other less severe, but more common conditions and may cause a misdiagnosis. We report a 79-year-old male known hypertensive patient who presented a day before demise with a 4 h history of severe epigastric pain. He was managed for acute exacerbation of peptic ulcer disease to rule out pancreatitis. However, all investigations done were within normal limits. His clinical condition deteriorated, and he died 18 h after admission. An autopsy revealed massive left hemothorax and a tear in the descending aortic aneurysm. Microscopic examination confirmed complicated atherosclerosis in the descending thoracic aorta. The misdiagnosis, in this case, leads to wrong management with the patient receiving treatment for severe peptic ulcer. There is a need to consider this disease in patients who present with severe nonspecific abdominal symptoms.

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