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May 5, 1969

Arterial Calcification Simulating Aneurysm

Author Affiliations

Wayne County General Hospital Eloise, Mich

JAMA. 1969;208(5):868. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160050122028

To the Editor:—  Abdominal aortic aneurysms are often excised following the discovery of a pulsatile abdominal mass associated with the radiographic finding of vascular calcification in the abdomen. This calcification, usually seen to the left of the spine, is often associated with a medial soft-tissue mass. The calcification is assumed to be in an aneurysmally dilated abdominal aorta. The pulsatile mass is considered confirmatory evidence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Two cases of superior mesenteric arterial calcification which simulated aortic aneurysm in patients with a pulsatile abdominal mass have been seen recently. These cases are reported to emphasize the importance of preoperative angiography to confirm the actual existence of an aneurysm.

Report of Cases:—  Routine physical examination on a 68-year-old woman with chronic brain syndrome revealed a pulsatile midline abdominal mass without bruit located below the umbilicus. This was felt to represent an aortic aneurysm clinically. Plain films of the