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July 1963

Rupture of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Into Vena Cava: Electrocardiographic Changes

Author Affiliations


Fellow in Medicine, Mayo Foundation (Drs. Dickson and Schatz); Fellow in Pathology, Mayo Foundation (Dr. Marshall); Section of Medicine (Dr. Cain).

Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(1):29-31. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860010075006

Aneurysms of the abdominal aorta are considered to be predominantly atherosclerotic in origin.1 Patients may remain asymptomatic for many years, until symptoms occur as a result of pressure on neighboring organs, leakage, or perforation.2 Symptomatic aneurysms represent a serious hazard to the patient. Death usually results from rupture of the aneurysm into the retroperitoneal space, peritoneum, occasionally the intestinal tract, and rarely the inferior vena cava. The world literature contains reports of approximately 33 cases of perforation into the inferior vena cava, only ten of which have been reported during the past two decades.

The purpose of this case report is to call attention to the electrocardiographic changes that occurred in a patient in whom a fistula developed between an abdominal aortic aneurysm and the inferior vena cava.

Report of a Case  A 78-year-old white man came to the Mayo Clinic on March 8, 1961, for a general

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