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April 1979

Transient Global Amnesia With a Dissecting Aortic Aneurysm

Author Affiliations

Dept of Neurology Univ of New Mexico School of Med Albuquerque, NM 87131

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(4):255. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500400109029

To the Editor.—  Short-lived confusion often follows syncopal episodes, but prolonged memory disturbances are unusual unless infarction has occurred. We describe here a patient with transient global amnesia1,2 associated with a syncopal attack at the onset of dissection of an aortic aneurysm.

Report of a Case.—  A 55-year-old man was hospitalized with loss of memory. He awoke complaining of chest pain radiating into his jaw, and soon had a syncopal episode during which he was "pale" and briefly unresponsive. When seen one hour later, he had no recollection of the chest pain. He was an obese man and not in distress. Blood pressure was 190/110 mm Hg; pulse rate was 80 beats per minute and regular. A systolic ejection murmur, not previously noted, was heard along the left sternal border.The patient was alert, cooperative, and oriented to place and person, but not to time. He repeated, "I am