Infectious aortitis has become increasingly uncommon and, when diagnosed, typically occurs in an immunocompromised elderly male with a history of Staphylococcus or Salmonella infection and underlying atheromatous cardiovascular disease. The authors report a case of a 74-year-old man with aortitis complicated by rupture secondary to Staphylococcus aureus infection. The patient presented with worsening abdominal pain and fever after being discharged from the emergency room 2 weeks before with back pain and leukocytosis diagnosed as urinary tract infection and bronchitis. Computed tomography (CT) imaging of the retroperitoneum on the first visit appeared normal. Repeat CT scan on the subsequent visit revealed a contained rupture of a nonaneurysmal aorta at the level of the diaphragm. The patient was taken to the operating room emergently for repair. An infected periaortic hematoma and a 1 cm perforation in the posterior aorta were found. The aorta was excised and the area debrided. Revascularization was performed using a 22 mm extruded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) interposition graft placed in situ. This case demonstrates that a high index of suspicion is required in diagnosing infectious aortitis and that the diagnosis may be delayed in many cases. Additionally, it may not be uncommon for the infected aorta to rupture without prior aneurysm formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine