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Case Reports in Vascular Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 590721, 4 pages
Case Report

Fatal Aortic Dissection in a Patient with Giant Cell Arteritis: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

1Department of Cardiology, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX 78234, USA
2Sentara Cardiology, Williamsburg, VA 23188, USA
3Department of Medicine, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, TX 78234, USA

Received 11 January 2013; Accepted 30 January 2013

Academic Editors: N. Espinola-Zavaleta, L. Masotti, and G. L. Tripepi

Copyright © 2013 Anjeli K. Nayar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Giant cell arteritis may lead to catastrophic, large-vessel complications from chronic vascular wall inflammation without prompt diagnosis and treatment. We describe a rare case of acute aortic dissection without preceding aneurysm secondary to histologically confirmed giant cell arteritis (GCA) in an 85-year-old female with a four-year history of polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis diagnosed per biopsy six months prior to presentation. The literature is reviewed and the clinical implications of this case are discussed.