Authors: Barman M, Djamel B, Mathews J
Background: Acute aortic dissection can occur at the time of intense physical exertion in strength-trained athletes like weight lifters, bodybuilders, throwers, and wrestlers. Rapid rise in blood pressure and history of hypertension are the most common causes of aortic dissection in athletes. It is a very tragic event because of its high mortality rate of about 32% in young patients. We report a case of aortic dissection in a young weightlifter with a history of anabolic steroid usage with an extensive intimal tear of the aorta at Sino tubular junction and arch. All athletes must be assessed for predisposing factors for aortic dissection, and all patients should be encouraged to undergo appropriate diagnostic studies, like echocardiography and blood pressure monitoring while weightlifting to recognize possible predisposing factors for aortic dissection. Athletes who do have a problem should be encouraged to avoid or limit their exercise or activity by their cardiologist. It is vital that this disastrous event be prevented in young people. In conclusion, although a rare occurrence, AD should be considered in symptomatic patients with any family history of early cardiac deaths, a history suggestive of a connective tissue disorder (that is, multiple joint surgeries) or who practice weightlifting.
Keywords: Acute aortic dissection; Athlete; Anabolic steroids.