Abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture presenting with focal weakness and altered mental status: a case report.

Brigid M Garrity, Eric Sugarman, Stephen Pulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) can present asymptomatically and may be found through routine screening or seen incidentally on imaging. Rupture due to weaking of the aortic wall is the main complication of an AAA and leads to approximately 200,000 deaths annually worldwide. Clinically, AAA rupture most frequently presents with abdominal and/or back pain, pulsatile abdominal mass, and hypotension. Here, we present an unusual presentation of embolic cerebrovascular accident associated with an AAA rupture.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 58-year-old African American man transported to the emergency department via ambulance presents with altered mental status and unilateral extremity weakness. The initial presentation was concerning for acute cerebrovascular accident, acute kidney injury, severe sepsis, and urinary tract infection. Several hours after the initial presentation, the patient's abdomen began to appear distended and he became hypotensive. An abdominal CT was ordered which showed a large AAA rupture with a retroperitoneal bleed. The patient was transferred to a higher-level medical center for surgical repair.

CONCLUSION: Abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture can rarely present due to an acute cerebrovascular accident with altered mental status and focal neurologic deficits.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - Jun 22 2022


  • abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture
  • altered mental status
  • cerebrovascular attack
  • embolic stroke


  • Medicine and Health Sciences

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