Abstract

Atheroembolic disease is a rarely recognized clinical entity. The growing use of antiplatelet and thrombolytic therapy and of invasive cardiovascular procedures in acute coronary syndromes has nevertheless transformed this feared iatrogenic complication into an increasingly frequent diagnosis. The authors review this entity through the case of a 71-year-old man who, fifteen days after undergoing thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction with ST-segment elevation, followed by elective percutaneous coronary revascularization under triple antiplatelet therapy, came to the emergency department with a clinical setting of mental confusion, gastrointestinal bleeding, oliguria and cutaneous eruptions on the lower limbs; laboratory tests revealed severe azotemia and hyperkalemia. With a diagnostic hypothesis of systemic atheroembolization, a cutaneous lesion biopsy was performed, which confirmed the diagnosis. Supportive treatment led to neurological and cutaneous recovery, but the patient developed chronic renal failure. The pathophysiology, forms of presentation, treatment and prognosis of atheroembolic disease are discussed, highlighting the importance of a high degree of clinical suspicion for diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-66
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Cardiologia
Volume26
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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