Arterial Embolic Complications in a Patient with Acute Heart Failure

DOI: 10.2478/jce-2022-0014

Introduction: In acute heart failure patients, the prothrombotic state is likely due to arterial and venous endothelial dysfunction. Decompensated heart failure appears to also be associated with increased levels of prothrombotic molecules, such as fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor, which also contribute to the prothrombotic state. Case presentation: We present the case of a 72-year-old male patient, admitted for signs of acute heart failure with bilateral ankle edema. Laboratory data showed D-dimer level >5 μg/mL, which raised the suspicion of pulmonary embolism secondary to deep vein thrombosis. Doppler ultrasound performed to exclude a deep vein thrombosis revealed a total occlusion of the superficial femoral artery on the lower left limb and an abdominal aorta with a lumen diameter of 35 mm and a true lumen of 18.6 mm with circular isoechoic material on the aortic wall. The computed tomography angiography described an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta with mural thrombosis extending to the bifurcation level. Conclusion: In patients with acute heart failure, a comprehensive vascular assessment is also needed. The therapeutic management of these patients varies from conservative to endovascular or surgical therapy, but revascularization therapy should be considered based on the patient’s medical condition.