Advanced malignant mesothelioma mimicking acute contained thoracic aortic rupture.
In the emergency setting, a cold, clammy, dyspnoeic patient presenting with interscapular chest pain and unequal blood pressures suggests an acute aortic dissection until proven otherwise. By means of a case report, the authors detail one such patient who presented identically to one having an acute aortic dissection. Initial assessment showed unequal blood pressures in left and right arms, a resting tachycardia and indistinct heart sounds. Fluid resuscitation failed to improve the patient's physiological parameters and they rapidly deteriorated. The medical history included mesothelioma and atrial fibrillation. Existing investigations were reviewed and after thorough consideration of the patient's premorbid state and likely prognosis, the decision was made to palliate. The patient died shortly after being transferred to the oncology ward. Imaging is therefore integral to the assessment and management of a patient in whom an aortic dissection is feared.