Under the Radar: A Case Report of a Missed Aortoenteric Fistula
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/cpcem.2021.4.51791
Introduction: An aortoenteric fistula (AEF) is an abnormal connection between the aorta and the gastrointestinal tract that develops due to a pathologic cause. It is a rare, but life-threatening, cause of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Although no single imaging modality exists that definitively diagnoses AEF, computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the abdomen and pelvis is the preferred initial test due to widespread availability and efficiency.
Case Report: Many deaths occur before the diagnosis is made or prior to surgical intervention. We describe a case of a patient with a history of aortic graft repair who presented with active GI bleeding.
Conclusion: Although CTA can make the diagnosis of AEF, it cannot adequately rule it out. In patients with significant GI bleeding and prior history of aortic surgery, vascular surgery should be consulted early on, even if CTA is equivocal.