Surgical pledget mimicking aortic pseudoaneurysm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Imaging description In patients with prior cardiothoracic surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass, felt pledgets are used to ensure hemostasis during closure of cannula sites in the ascending aorta. On imaging, these pledgets are high attenuation and are located immediately adjacent to the aortic wall in the high ascending aorta (Figure 66.1). Sometimes on axial source images these high-attenuation foci can mimic small pseudoaneurysms. Correct diagnosis of surgical materialcan be made by inspection of volume-rendered images, which will often show a rectangular shape (Figures 66.1 and 66.2). Non-contrast images, if available, will also be helpful for showing pledgets as highattenuation precontrast (Figure 66.1). Importance Misdiagnosis of pseudoaneurysm of the ascending aorta can lead to inappropriate additional follow-up scans or, in the worst case scenario, repeat surgery. Typical clinical scenario Felt pledgets are used for suturing of cannula sites when cardiopulmonary bypass is used, such as for cardiac surgery or thoracic aortic repair. Differential diagnosis Surgical material should be distinguished from true aortic pseudoaneurysms, which can occur at cannula sites or anastomoses due to suture break down after thoracic surgery. These will be recognized by a narrow-neckedconnection to the aortic lumen and attenuation that is similar to blood pool on both pre-and post-contrast imaging. Teaching point Felt pledgets adjacent to the ascending aorta in patients with prior cardiothoracic surgery should notbe mistaken for pseudoaneurysms. High attenuation on precontrast scans and characteristic shape on volume-rendered reconstructions will allow definitive diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPearls and Pitfalls in Cardiovascular Imaging
Subtitle of host publicationPseudolesions, Artifacts and Other Difficult Diagnoses
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781139152228
ISBN (Print)9781107023727
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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