Old Dissecting Aneurism of The Aorta

Clinical History

This 41 year old male died from a gastrointestinal haemorrhage.


The specimen is a portion of aorta laid open from behind to show the lumen. The specimen is somewhat distorted but the upper portion shows the origin of the coeliac, superior mesenteric and renal arteries. On the right-hand side of the specimen, there is an abnormal channel 1.5 cm in diameter apparently formed by splitting of the layers of the wall of the aorta. Three windows have been cut to show the intimal lining of this channel and the origin of the left renal artery from it (this can be seen via the upper window). This is an example of an old dissecting aneurism of the aorta. At necropsy a small communication 1 cm in width was found between the aorta proper and the aneurism. Distally an opening back into the artery was not found, the duplication of lumina continuing into the left common iliac artery.