Clinical Communications: Adult| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, e193-e196, April 2020

Acute Aortic Dissection With ST Segment Myocardial Infarction Following Masturbation



      Acute aortic dissection is the most common life-threatening disorder affecting the aorta, and can mimic other disease processes. We describe an unusual presentation of a critically ill patient with initial hematospermia diagnosed with a type A acute aortic dissection.

      Case Report

      A 68 year old man presented to a community ED after masturbation and report of blood in his ejaculate, followed by rapid development of severe low back, chest and hip pain with shock. ECG showed evidence of ST segment elevation, but suspicion remained high for thoracic or abdominal aortic catastrophe. Bedside ultrasound demonstrated no pericardial effusion, a severely hypokinetic myocardium and a question of fluid in the left perinephric space. Attempts were made to resuscitate the patient, and an ED chest/abdomen/pelvis CT showed a type A acute thoracic aortic dissection. Unfortunately, the patient remained profoundly unstable, with multiple arrests. He was transferred to a tertiary care facility, but expired shortly after arrival.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      An emergency physician needs to be aware of the myriad of presentations of acute aortic dissection. Although hematospermia was felt ultimately to be an incidental symptom, sexual activity may bring about a significant transient increase in blood pressure, which could contribute to sheer force causing aortic injury. Awareness of this trigger and a careful sensitive history may aid the clinician in early diagnosis.


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