Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Renal and Aorta Dissection in Marfan Syndrome. Color Doppler Views.

For those of you interested in color doppler photos of a dissected renal artery and aorta, these are my latest, taken a couple weeks ago.
Color doppler showing blood flow through my aorta #Marfan Syndrome #Dissected Aorta

Color on a doppler echogram represents the direction of blood flow.  As indicated by the legend bar on the upper right, red and the shades of red represent the velocity of blood moving towards the ultrasound transducer.  Oppositely, shades of blue ranging from light to dark reflect the speed of blood flowing away from the doppler unit.

In the photo above the blue represents blood flowing through the true aortic lumen ( the open, original aortic channel) while the redish orange colored section represents blood flowing back towards the ultrasound, or blood caught in the false lumen or channel and flowing back towards the doppler after being caught in the dead-end channel.

The false lumen is like a dead end street.  There is no outlet to the false lumen channel.  Blood flows into the false lumen through the tear in the inner most aortic wall layer called the intimal layer.
My aortic dissection, the torn intimal flap is easily seen crossing the inside diameter of the thoracic aorta
  The photo immediately above shows the ultrasound without doppler effects.  My aorta's false lumen is visible running directly through the middle of the channel.   This 'flap' you see is the section of my aorta torn away from the rest of the vessel.  

Blood flows through an open channel on one side.  The other side of the intimal flap though goes no where.  It is a dead end opening where blood flows in, then back out.

As long as the true lumen is open enough to provide adequate blood flow and the aorta wall does not aneuryze from loss of strength then the flow of blood to the body may still occur.

Another side view of the intimal flap inside my aorta.
Medications and diet can help control blood pressure and pulse rate.  The lower these variables are the more likely the blood flow can be managed.  My blood pressure averages 109/59 and I have a pulse rate of around 45 beats per minute.

The issue with my massive dissection is the fear of aneurysm or total blockage of blood flow.

Because renal artery dissection is one of the health problems I am dealing with, my hypochondria goes into high gear whenever I see blood in my urine.  Is my dissected renal artery aneurysing or bursting?

Doppler view of the flow through my left renal artery

 In fact, last month while visiting my parents in Tallahassee I started having lots of blood in my urine.  My wife, Judy took me to Tallahassee Memorial Emergency Room.  I honestly thought I was having an aneurysing renal artery because of the pain's location and the amount of blood.  Fortunately the blood was caused by a kidney stone. 

But living with constant fear, knowing one's aorta wall is compromised is a constant physical and mental challenge, one experienced by most of those struggling with Marfan Syndrome and other connective tissue disorder issues.

Doppler view of my right renal artery


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