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A major pain in the … Back and epigastrium: an unusual case of spontaneous celiac artery dissection

A major pain in the … Back and epigastrium: an unusual case of spontaneous celiac artery dissection

Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives 4(5): 23840

A 60-year-old woman with mitral valve prolapse, chronic low back pain, and a 30-pack year smoking history presented for a second admission of poorly controlled mid-back pain 10 days after her first admission. She had concomitant epigastric pain, sharp/burning in quality, radiating to the right side and to the mid-back, not associated with food nor improving with pain medications. She denied nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dark stools, or blood per rectum. Our purpose was to determine the cause of the patient's epigastric pain. Physical examination revealed epigastric and mid-back tenderness on palpation. Labs were normal except for a hemoglobin drop from 14 to 12.1 g/dL over 2 days. Abdominal ultrasound and subsequent esophagogastroduodenoscopy were normal. Contrast-enhanced abdominal computed tomographic (CT) scan revealed the development of a spontaneous celiac artery dissection as the cause of the epigastric pain. The patient was observed without stenting and subsequent CT angiography 4 days later did not reveal worsening of the dissection. She was discharged on aspirin and clopidogrel with outpatient follow-up. Thus far, less than 100 cases of isolated spontaneous celiac artery dissections have been reported. The advent of CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging has increasingly enabled its detection. Risk factors may include hypertension, arteriosclerosis, smoking, and cystic medial necrosis. There is a 5:1 male to female ratio with an average presenting age of 55. Management of dissections may include surgical repair, endovascular stenting, and selective embolization. Limited dissections can be managed conservatively with anti-platelet and/or anticoagulation agents and strict blood pressure control, as done in our patient.

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Accession: 057068556

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25432642

DOI: 10.3402/jchimp.v4.23840

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