Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Case Report

A case of brain infarction and thoracic aortic dissection without chest nor back pain diagnosed by carotid duplex ultrasonography

Kouichirou Maeda, M.D., Masahiro Yasaka, M.D., Yoshiyuki Wakugawa, M.D., Toshiyasu Ogata, M.D. and Yasushi Okada, M.D.

Department of Cerebrovascular Disease, Clinical Research Center, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Medical Center

A 63-year-old man was admitted because of sudden transient consciousness disturbance and left-side hemiparesis 110 minutes after the onset. Typical symptoms of aortic dissection, such as chest pain, back pain, neck pain, laterality of blood pressure or hypotension were not found. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed multiple acute brain infarction of the right middle cerebral artery territory. Carotid duplex ultrasonography demonstrated a subintimal dissection with a false channel of the right common carotid artery (CCA) and the right internal carotid artery (ICA). Thoracoabdominal computed tomographic (CT) scan demonstrated the false lumen in ascending and descending thoracic aorta. Cervical CT scan showed a dissection with a false channel of the right CCA. Intravenous administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) is a contraindicant therapy in patients of brain infarction with aortic dissection. Thus our patient showed thoracic aortic dissection with extension of the dissection toward the right internal carotid artery. And the patient complained of neither the pain in the chest, the back nor the neck. So we emphasize the necessity of carotid duplex ultrasonography examination before intravenous administration of rt-PA in the treatment of the cerebral infarction, regardless of having chest pain, back pain, neck pain or not.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (571K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 49: 104|108, 2009)
key words: brain infarction, thoracic aortic dissection, dissection of carotid artery, chest pain, back pain, carotid duplex ultrasonography

(Received: 8-Jul-08)