Dissecting Aortic Aneurysm

  1. Hi,
    Why is it that in a patient with a suspected dissected aortic aneurysm, blood pressure should be checked in both arms.

    Thankyou.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   kukukajoo
    Reading will be different.
  4. by   lsyorke
    A patient with that diagnosis should be in the OR...FAST!!!
  5. by   kukukajoo
    Yep. There are new procedures now to treat this but not widely done. My kids dad was saved last year after a car wreck- his aorta had actually dissected and DETACHED from his heart!! Evidently there was a tiny membrane layer keeping him from bleeding out. He now has a stent graft in place from his left subclavain all the way to his celiac and has had 10 surgeries since. has to be on BP meds forever and watched closely for occlusion. He was the first person ever to survive this type of injury accoring to the surgeons at Dartmouth. They had also not done a stent graft that big before but they had nothing to lose and everything to gain in trying. He is very lucky to be here still.
  6. by   dianah
    i found the following sentence in an emergency medicine article (cited after the quote):

    because branch vessels may be occluded by the false lumen or by emboli, blood pressure differences between arms of 15-20 mm hg may be present and should be sought.

    http://www.em-news.com/pt/re/emmedne...195629!8091!-1

    kukukajoo, glad your kids' dad survived, against the odds! what a story!
  7. by   UM Review RN
    I only had one patient with this. It was so awfully sad. ((

    We had different BP readings in both arms and Pt c/o "tearing" posterior shoulder pain.

    I knew in my gut what it was at that point and called the doc, but there was nothing that could be done to save the patient.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Dec 14, '07
  8. by   DeLana_RN
    This killed my brother... he was 41. Sadly, he was far from any medical help, alone in his apartment.

    We were told that the odds would have been poor in any case, unless he had been close to an OR when it happened.

    DeLana
  9. by   CRNAGAL
    A thoracic aneurysm can affect blood supply to the left subclavian artery, the large branch that leads to the left arm.
  10. by   AlwaysLearningRN
    ok, i'm still confused.

    "because branch vessels may be occluded by the false lumen or by emboli, blood pressure differences between arms of 15-20 mm hg may be present and should be sought"

    and

    "a thoracic aneurysm can affect blood supply to the left subclavian artery, the large branch that leads to the left arm"

    so does that mean because the emboli is big, the blood pressure is different? or blocked? i'm a literal girl, i need to understand the pathophysiology of why this happens, and can't find it on the web anywhere.



  11. by   grantz
    Quote from alwayslearningrn
    ok, i'm still confused.

    "because branch vessels may be occluded by the false lumen or by emboli, blood pressure differences between arms of 15-20 mm hg may be present and should be sought"

    and

    "a thoracic aneurysm can affect blood supply to the left subclavian artery, the large branch that leads to the left arm"

    so does that mean because the emboli is big, the blood pressure is different? or blocked? i'm a literal girl, i need to understand the pathophysiology of why this happens, and can't find it on the web anywhere.


    first of all know the flow of blood in the heart:

    first it enters the vena cava then right atrium down to right ventricles and the rv pumps the blood to the lungs through pulmonary artery then it goes back to heart from the lungs and it is now oxygenated. it enters the heart via pulmonary veins in the left atrium and then down to the left ventricles, the lv pumps the blood to aorta.

    aneurysm = a sac and maybe ruptured if too much pressure is put..
    aorta = largest artery

    in short aortic aneurysm is a sac in the aorta which can be ruptured and cause internal bleeding may cause decrease amount of blood circulating the vascular space so the person will have a fvd and therefore a low bp and high hr as compensatory mechanism which can lead to shock and if not treated promptly will result to death..

    p.s. if you think i miss something or its incorrectly stated pls do some reply. i'd be happy to receive some comments. thank you and i hope that helps you alwayslearningrn
    Last edit by grantz on Oct 28, '11
  12. by   Sanuk
    This website has some good information, too:

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/articl...overview#a0112
  13. by   highlandlass1592
    Quote from grantz
    First of all know the flow of blood in the heart:

    First it enters the vena cava then right atrium down to right ventricles and the RV pumps the blood to the lungs through pulmonary artery then it goes back to heart from the lungs and it is now oxygenated. It enters the heart via pulmonary veins in the left atrium and then down to the left ventricles, the LV pumps the blood to aorta.

    aneurysm = a sac and maybe ruptured if too much pressure is put..
    Aorta = largest artery

    in short Aortic Aneurysm is a sac in the Aorta which can be ruptured and cause internal bleeding may cause decrease amount of blood circulating the vascular space so the person will have a FVD and therefore a low BP and high HR as compensatory mechanism which can lead to shock and if not treated promptly will result to death..

    P.S. if you think I miss something or its incorrectly stated pls do some reply. I'd be happy to receive some comments. thank you and I hope that helps you AlwaysLearningRN
    The post is referring to an aortic dissection not an aneurysm, different ball game.
  14. by   grantz
    Quote from highlandlass1592
    The post is referring to an aortic dissection not an aneurysm, different ball game.
    Dissecting Aortic Aneurysm

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