Clinical features of isolated superior mesenteric artery dissection in the emergency department: a single center retrospective study
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 410008 Changsha, Hunan, China
Submitted: 08 December 2020 Accepted: 05 January 2021
Online publish date: 10 November 2021
† These authors contributed equally.
Isolated superior mesenteric artery dissection (ISMAD) is a relatively rare disease and often lacks specificity in its clinical presentation, diagnosing it in emergency departments quickly and accurately is a challenge. The study was conducted to understand the basic characteristics of ISMAD including age of onset, risk factors, gender difference and whether D-dimer can be used as a biomarker for its detection. We retrospectively analyzed patients with ISMAD admitted to the emergency department of Xiangya Hospital of Central South University from September 1, 2017 to September 30, 2020. The data included the patient’s basic information and the first laboratory test results after admission, including routine blood, liver function, renal function and coagulation function tests. Statistical analysis of results was done using GraphPad Prism 5. There were a total of 17 (15 male and 2 female) patients with a mean age of 52.53 ± 7.11 years diagnosed with ISMAD. Out of these, 7 (41%) patients had history of hypertension, 7 (41%) had history of smoking and/or alcohol intake, and almost all patients experienced significant abdominal pain and fullness. Four patients (24%) were initially misdiagnosed. The laboratory test results of renal, liver function tests and myocardial enzymology were in their normal ranges. In coagulation results, the positive rates of fibrinogen degradation products (FDP) and D-dimer were 29% and 35%, respectively. We compared these ISMAD results with our previous results for acute aortic dissection (AAD). D-dimer and FDP levels were lower in the ISMAD than in the AAD patients (P = 0.0004, P = 0.0325, respectively), and negative rates of D-dimer and FDP in ISMAD (65%, 71%) were higher than in AAD patients (14%, 24%) (P < 0.0001, P = 0.0003, respectively). In our study, ISMAD mostly occurred in middle-aged male patients with known hypertension or active smoking status. Misdiagnosis was common (24% of cases). Since D-dimer and FDP levels proved to be of limited diagnostic value, an abdominal Computed Tomography (CT) scan should be conducted in patients with unclear abdominal pain at an early stage of their diagnostic workup.
Abdominal pain; Isolated superior mesenteric artery dissection; D-dimer; Fibrinogen degradation product
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