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J Int Med Res. 2012;40(5):2014-20.

Aortic dissection presenting primarily as acute spinal cord damage: a case report and literature review.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital of Liaoning Medical College, Jinzhou, China.


Acute aortic dissection is a rare, life-threatening condition. Clinical manifestations generally include the acute onset of severe chest or back pain. Aortic dissection presenting with signs and symptoms of acute spinal cord damage is the most severe complication and is particularly rare. This paper reports a case of aortic dissection in a 50-year-old man with a 10-year history of hypertension manifesting as acute spinal cord damage (bilateral lower extremity weakness and loss of all types of sensation), acute skeletal muscle ischaemic necrosis with increased levels of creatine kinase, and acute kidney failure with increased levels of serum creatinine and decreased glomerular filtration rate. The patient refused surgical treatment. His clinical condition progressively worsened and he died 3 days later. This case indicates the importance of considering aortic dissection in patients presenting with acute spinal cord damage, acute skeletal muscle necrosis or acute kidney failure, which may allow early diagnosis and reduce the mortality rate.

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