Embolism at the aortic bifurcation is a serious emergency. The diagnosis is not difficult if the physician is aware of this possibility in patients with auricular fibrillation, mitral valvular disease, or recent myocardial infarction. Sudden pain in the back and in the extremities; shock, coldness, and numbness in the extremities, followed by cyanosis; and absent arterial pulsations are the usual symptoms and signs of this condition. Immediate heparinization to prevent progression of the thrombus and closure of collateral channels is probably the most important of all the conservative therapeutic measures. Embolectomy is the treatment of choice when the general condition of the patient will permit. It may be successful even at a late stage.
JAMA – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 5, 1959