Massive Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Masquerading as Heart Failure

Chase J. Smith, Wesley M. Jones, Shishir Mathur, Sameer Arora


The United States Preventative Task Force recommends screening for all men greater than the age of 65 who have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime or have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). This is largely due to the asymptomatic nature of the presentation of most patients who present with AAA. Symptomatic AAA carries a poor prognosis if not detected in a timely manner. Although abdominal pain remains the most common symptomatic presentation, AAA is notorious to surprise clinicians by its unique masquerading ability. We here present an example of one of these unique presentations. Our case reports a 60-year-old African American male who presented with 4+ pitting edema and shortness of breath. After initial clinical assessment, new onset heart failure seemed to be the likely diagnosis. However, the grossly normal nature of echocardiogram forced us to entertain other potential possibilities. A thorough review of the human anatomy and critical multispecialty decision making paved way for intra-abdominal imaging which revealed a massive AAA extending to the common iliac arteries compressing the inferior vena cava. We discuss the existing literature and try to find reasons why diagnosing AAA is still not a perfected art.

J Med Cases. 2016;7(8):361-363


Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Heart failure; Edema; Inferior vena cava

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Medical Cases, monthly, ISSN 1923-4155 (print), 1923-4163 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.