Chronic aortic dissection presenting as a prolonged febrile disease and arterial embolization

Chest. 1996 Oct;110(4):1111-4. doi: 10.1378/chest.110.4.1111.


Aortic dissection most often is an acute event dominated by excruciating pain and other symptoms which suggest the diagnosis. Our report and a review of the medical literature demonstrate that chronic aortic dissection may, rarely, present as a prolonged febrile illness, with night sweats, weight loss, pleural effusion, and little or no pain. These symptoms may be associated with a markedly elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), anemia of chronic disease, and hyperglobulinemia. Awareness of this unusual presentation, a high index of suspicion, and confirmation by an appropriate imagine technique (CT or MRI of the chest or transesophageal echocardiography have a very high sensitivity) will result in earlier diagnosis and better patient outcome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anemia, Refractory / etiology
  • Aneurysm, Dissecting / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Thromboembolism / etiology