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Acute Aortic Occlusion Presenting as Paraplegia: A Catastrophic Complication in an Elective Surgical Patient

Mcclain, Robert L MD; Pai, Sher-Lu MD

doi: 10.1097/ACC.0b013e3182973a4f
Case Reports: Case Report

Acute aortic occlusion by massive thoracoabdominal thrombi has been reported as a serious complication in patients undergoing major vascular or cardiac surgical procedures. However, this complication occurs rarely after ambulatory procedures. In this case report, we describe a patient who experienced paraplegia after an elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy in whom acute aortic thromboembolic occlusion was subsequently diagnosed. We emphasize the importance of accurate neurologic and cardiovascular history taking and examination throughout the perioperative period along with the appropriate diagnostic studies to expeditiously arrive at a diagnosis of such a rare complication.

From the Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Accepted for publication April 10, 2013

Funding: Not funded.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to Sher-Lu Pai, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32224. Address e-mail to

© 2013 International Anesthesia Research Society
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