Consultant Corner: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and abdominal aortic dissection are two causes of abdominal pain that have the potential to cause immediate and severe morbidity and mortality. AAA may range from asymptomatic to rapidly fatal. Emergency providers should be prepared to manage patients with decompensating aortic disease and should work to disposition them to early definitive care. Emergency providers should have contact information readily available for vascular surgery teams that can be rapidly mobilized in the event of an aortic catastrophe. Permissive hypotension for patients with aortic rupture can be lifesaving. Patients with a family history of AAA are predisposed to AAA, as are patients with peripheral arterial aneurysms. AAAs smaller than 5 cm in women and 5.5 cm in men are frequently managed nonoperatively.
KeywordsAbdominal aortic aneurysm Aortic rupture Aortic dissection Permissive hypotension Peripheral arterial aneurysm Popliteal aneurysm Femoral aneurysm