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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Misleading presentation of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm and the role of point-of-care ultrasound for diagnosis

Abstract

If not recognized and treated early enough, the rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) embodies a devastating medical emergency. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality which can reach up to 100 % in untreated individuals. Patients are usually hypotensive, shocked, complain of pain in the abdomen or back, and can have a palpable pulsatile abdominal mass. rAAA can be misdiagnosed due to patient’s comorbidities, site of rupture, or unusual presentations. Unusual clinical presentations include transient lower limb paralysis, right hypochondrial pain, groin pain, testicular pain, iliofemoral venous thrombosis, and others. When ruptured abdominal aneurysm is suspected an emergency ultrasound should be performed. In this article we are going to present a patient with unusual presentation of ruptured abdominal aneurysm and the importance of point-of-care ultrasound in similar cases.

Key words: abdominal aortic aneurysm, rupture, point-of-care ultrasound

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Will Focus do?

Abstract

Ultrasound is an elegant method which provides insight into the patient. Focused cardiac ultrasound (FoCUS) includes a basic approach to the heart and inferior vena cava (IVC) by ultrasound. By only using the eye-balling method attending physicians can obtain important information for a better understanding of a patient’s pathophysiology. Obtained data can be used immediately and integrated together with other clinical data, which helps physicians in their decision-making process.

Key words: focused cardiac ultrasound, point of care ultrasound, physicians performed ultrasound, hemodynamic monitoring, shock, cardiac arrest

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