Exertional dyspnea as a symptom of infrarenal aortic occlusive disease

Stacey L. Schott, Fernanda Porto Carreiro, James R. Harkness, Mahmoud B. Malas, Stephen M. Sozio, Sammy Zakaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advanced atherosclerosis of the aorta can cause severe ischemia in the kidneys, refractory hypertension, and claudication. However, no previous reports have clearly associated infrarenal aortic stenosis with shortness of breath. A 77-year-old woman with hypertension and hyperlipidemia presented with exertional dyspnea. Despite extensive testing and observation, no apparent cause for this patient's dyspnea was found. Images revealed severe infrarenal aortic stenosis. After the patient underwent stenting of the aortic occlusion, she had immediate symptomatic improvement and complete resolution of her dyspnea within one month. Twelve months after vascular intervention, the patient remained asymptomatic. In view of the distinct and lasting elimination of dyspnea after angioplasty and stenting of a nearly occluded infrarenal aortic lesion, we hypothesize that infrarenal aortic stenosis might be a treatable cause of exertional dyspnea. Clinicians should consider infrarenal aortic stenosis as a possible cause of dyspnea. Treatment of the stenosis might relieve symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-318
Number of pages3
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Aorta, abdominal/pathology
  • Aortic diseases/diagnosis/therapy
  • Arterial occlusive diseases/therapy
  • Arteriosclerosis/complications/physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, differential
  • Dyspnea/complications
  • Renal artery obstruction/complications/physiopathology
  • Stents
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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