Case Report| Volume 39, ISSUE 5, P697-699, May 2023

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A Giant Transsternal Aortic Pseudoaneurysm

Published:February 02, 2023DOI:
      A 63-year-old woman presented with a 1-month history of progressing sternal mass. She underwent mechanical aortic valve replacement (AVR) with a St Jude 19 mm valve (St. Jude Medical, Saint Paul, MN) and Manougian annulus enlargement technique 10 years ago for aortic stenosis. She had an unremarkable clinical follow-up and a normal transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) 5 years ago. Four months before the current event, she had a transient episode of severe chest pain for which she did not seek medical attention. Physical examination revealed a pulsatile sternal mass and a IV-VI grade murmur with a thrill. There was no evidence of infection; she had normal blood analyses and negative blood cultures. Chest radiography showed enlarged mediastinum with a broken sternal wire. Transesophageal echocardiography showed normal AVR function with minimal regurgitation (Fig. 1). Computed tomography angiography (CTA) revealed a large aortic pseudoaneurysm measuring 10.5 × 5.4 × 6.7 cm originating from the aortic annulus and extending through the sternum to the subcutaneous tissues (Fig. 2). Soft tissue (35 to 50 Hounsfield units pre- and postcontrast) was observed within the pseudoaneurysm, most in keeping with a mural thrombus. There was a partial compression of the right pulmonary artery and right atrium. The patient remained hemodynamically stable throughout the investigations.
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure 1Preoperative chest radiography and transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE). (A) Posteroanterior and (B) lateral chest radiography showing an abnormal right mediastinal and anterior chest wall bulging (white arrows) and broken sternal wire (red arrow on lateral view). (C) TEE showing the absence of aortic regurgitation.
      Figure thumbnail gr2
      Figure 2Pre- and postoperative gated contrast-enhanced computed tomography angiography (CTA). (A) Coronal view showing the pseudoaneurysm and mural thrombus. (B) Zoomed view on the rupture site just above the aortic valve prosthesis. (C) Sagittal view demonstrating the pseudoaneurysm extension through the sternum. (D) Three-dimensional reconstruction of the pseudoaneurysm eroding the sternum. (E) Postoperative CTA in axial and (F) sagittal views showing the ascending aorta repair without residual pseudoaneurysm.
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