UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Vascular

Title: Neurologic Manifestations of Acute Aortic Dissection

Keywords: Acute, Aortic Dissection, Neurologic (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/6/2009 by Rob Rogers, MD (Updated: 4/13/2024)
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Neurologic Manifestations of Acute Aortic Dissection

A myriad of neurologic presentations of acute aortic dissection have been reported in the literature. Although classic CVA symptoms may occur, nonspecific neurologic symptoms are much more common

These include:

  • Classic stroke-like/TIA symptoms
  • Encephalopathy (may look like a drug overdose)
  • Seizures (ask Mike Abraham about his abdominal pain/seizure case)

Take Home Point:

  • Consider the diagnosis of acute aortic dissection in patients with these findings who ALSO HAVE chest, back, or abdominal pain +/- risk factors for the disease (i.e. HTN, family history, Marfans, cocaine, etc.)