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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dead Legs: A Case of Bilateral Leg Paralysis


Aortoiliac occlusive disease (AOD) is a rare presentation of thrombosis of the abdominal aorta. Also known as Leriche syndrome, its classic description entails claudication of the buttocks, thighs, and calves, absent femoral pulses, and impotence. AOD risk factors include smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, chronic renal insufficiency, and hypercoagulopathy. Ischemic complications of gastrointestinal malperfusion, renal infarction, and paralysis secondary to spinal cord ischemia are also noted. This case describes AOD complicated by a Stanford Type B aortic dissection leading to multi-system organ failure. A brief review of the literature further elucidates the key risk factors inidentifying and treating Leriche syndrome.

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