Project Title

CRITICAL UPPER LIMB ISCHEMIA IN A PATIENT WITH NEW-ONSET ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

Authors' Affiliations

Department of Internal Medicine

Location

WhiteTop Mountain Room 225

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

121

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Melania Bochis

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Internal Medicine

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Resident or Clinical Fellow

Project's Category

Biomedical and Health Sciences

Abstract Text

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of serious dysrhythmia, with increasing prevalence in older age groups. Thromboembolism is a serious complication seen with atrial fibrillation and can range from ischemic stroke, mesenteric ischemia to acute limb ischemia. The annual incidence of acute limb ischemia secondary to atrial fibrillation is 0.14%[1]. Here we report a case of critical limb ischemia with brachial artery occlusion due to an embolus in a patient with new onset atrial fibrillation.

A 90 year-old female patient presented to the hospital with complaints of shortness of breath on exertion, orthopnea and palpitations of one week duration. She denied any chest pain, dizziness, or syncope.

Past medical history was significant for longstanding hypertension well controlled with amlodipine and a provoked deep vein thrombosis of the leg 40 years prior to presentation complicated by heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

On examination, she had an irregularly irregular rhythm and an HR in 120s, no murmurs or gallops were appreciated. 12 lead EKG was suggestive of atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response.

She was started on metoprolol tartrate for rate control and Apixaban for anticoagulation. TSH was normal and serial troponins returned negative. A Transthoracic echocardiogram was obtained and showed an ejection fraction of 55-60%, mildly dilated left atrium, mild MR, there was no evidence of a thrombus or patent foramen ovale.

Three hours after the first dose of Apixaban, and right prior to discharge, the patient started complainig of sudden onset sharp pain and paresthesia of the left upper extremity below the elbow. On Inspection, the left upper extremity was pale and cold to touch. Radial and ulnar pulses were absent, confirmed by doppler ultrasound.

A stat computed tomography angiography of the left upper extremity showed complete occlusion of the brachial artery at the level of the elbow joint. She was started on Argatroban drip en route for emergent brachial embolectomy after Vascular Surgery consultation. Blood circulation to the arm was fully restored. Apixaban was resumed post-operatively and with clinical improvement, the patient was safely discharged home.

Atrial fibrillation, irrespective of the type (persistent, paroxysmal, permanent or silent) leads to increased risk of thromboembolism owing to atrial clot formation[2]. However, the timing of initiation of antithrombotic therapy has been widely discussed and needs to be individualized based on the presence of risk factors for thromboembolism and bleeding. Acute limb ischemia may be defined as sudden loss of blood flow to the limb. The cause being either thrombotic (60%) or embolic (30%). It has been noted that 80% of peripheral emboli originate in the heart secondary to atrial fibrillation[3]. A timely diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance to decrease morbidity and mortality and to salvage the limb’s functionality.

References

1.Thromboembolism in atrial fibrillation Menke J1, Lüthje L, Kastrup A, Larsen J.

2.Writing Committee Members, January CT, Wann LS, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation. 2014;130(23):e199-e267. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000041.

3.Callum K, Bradbury A. Acute limb ischaemia. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2000;320(7237):764-767.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

CRITICAL UPPER LIMB ISCHEMIA IN A PATIENT WITH NEW-ONSET ATRIAL FIBRILLATION

WhiteTop Mountain Room 225

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of serious dysrhythmia, with increasing prevalence in older age groups. Thromboembolism is a serious complication seen with atrial fibrillation and can range from ischemic stroke, mesenteric ischemia to acute limb ischemia. The annual incidence of acute limb ischemia secondary to atrial fibrillation is 0.14%[1]. Here we report a case of critical limb ischemia with brachial artery occlusion due to an embolus in a patient with new onset atrial fibrillation.

A 90 year-old female patient presented to the hospital with complaints of shortness of breath on exertion, orthopnea and palpitations of one week duration. She denied any chest pain, dizziness, or syncope.

Past medical history was significant for longstanding hypertension well controlled with amlodipine and a provoked deep vein thrombosis of the leg 40 years prior to presentation complicated by heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.

On examination, she had an irregularly irregular rhythm and an HR in 120s, no murmurs or gallops were appreciated. 12 lead EKG was suggestive of atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response.

She was started on metoprolol tartrate for rate control and Apixaban for anticoagulation. TSH was normal and serial troponins returned negative. A Transthoracic echocardiogram was obtained and showed an ejection fraction of 55-60%, mildly dilated left atrium, mild MR, there was no evidence of a thrombus or patent foramen ovale.

Three hours after the first dose of Apixaban, and right prior to discharge, the patient started complainig of sudden onset sharp pain and paresthesia of the left upper extremity below the elbow. On Inspection, the left upper extremity was pale and cold to touch. Radial and ulnar pulses were absent, confirmed by doppler ultrasound.

A stat computed tomography angiography of the left upper extremity showed complete occlusion of the brachial artery at the level of the elbow joint. She was started on Argatroban drip en route for emergent brachial embolectomy after Vascular Surgery consultation. Blood circulation to the arm was fully restored. Apixaban was resumed post-operatively and with clinical improvement, the patient was safely discharged home.

Atrial fibrillation, irrespective of the type (persistent, paroxysmal, permanent or silent) leads to increased risk of thromboembolism owing to atrial clot formation[2]. However, the timing of initiation of antithrombotic therapy has been widely discussed and needs to be individualized based on the presence of risk factors for thromboembolism and bleeding. Acute limb ischemia may be defined as sudden loss of blood flow to the limb. The cause being either thrombotic (60%) or embolic (30%). It has been noted that 80% of peripheral emboli originate in the heart secondary to atrial fibrillation[3]. A timely diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance to decrease morbidity and mortality and to salvage the limb’s functionality.

References

1.Thromboembolism in atrial fibrillation Menke J1, Lüthje L, Kastrup A, Larsen J.

2.Writing Committee Members, January CT, Wann LS, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC/HRS Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and the Heart Rhythm Society. Circulation. 2014;130(23):e199-e267. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000041.

3.Callum K, Bradbury A. Acute limb ischaemia. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2000;320(7237):764-767.