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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Volume 95, Issue 1, January 2013, Page 357

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.05.125. Copyright © Elsevier Inc.


A 66 year-old female presented with refractory acute congestive heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and ventricular tachyarrhythmia. Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) was placed via femoral cannulation for salvage and stabilized. CAT scan of the chest performed as a part of heart transplant work-up, demonstrated an unequal distribution of intravenous contrast in the aortic arch (Figure 1). Radiologist’s preliminary reading was of “aortic dissection” while in fact this is truly “normal ECMO flow”.

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