Coexistence of fibromuscular dysplasia and cystic medial necrosis in a patient with Marfan's syndrome and bilateral carotid artery dissections.
A primary arteriopathy is suspected in most patients with spontaneous dissections of the carotid artery, although the nature of this arteriopathy usually remains elusive. Angiographic changes of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), however, are found in 10% to 20% of patients with carotid dissections.
A 26-year-old woman with Marfan's syndrome presented with bilateral amaurosis fugax after surgical repair of an aortic dissection. Angiography revealed a dissection extending from the ascending aorta into the right internal carotid artery and, separate from the aortic dissection, a dissection of the left internal carotid artery. After surgery, microscopic examination of the right carotid artery revealed a medial dissection but no evidence of an underlying arteriopathy, while the left internal carotid artery displayed the typical features of FMD. Eighteen months later the patient died after resection of a large thoracoabdominal aortic dissecting aneurysm. Microscopic examination of the aorta revealed moderately extensive cystic medial necrosis.
Carotid dissections associated with Marfan's syndrome may be the result of an extension of an aortic dissection or occur isolated from the aorta, even in the same patient. The occurrence of FMD in a patient with Marfan's syndrome in conjunction with previous reports of FMD in a variety of connective tissue disorders suggests that FMD, like cystic medial necrosis, may be a nonspecific disease entity.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association