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Heart Disease

Penetrating Atherosclerotic Ulcers (PAU)

penetrating atherosclerotic ulcer (PAU) occurs when a patient with atherosclerosis, or thickened artery walls, has an ulcer in the artery that breaks through the artery’s membranes. This can lead to blood collecting outside of the blood vessel (hematoma).

PAUs typically occur in the descending aorta and may result in complications. Diagnosis may be confirmed with CT scan, MRI or aortography. Treatment includes monitoring the patient for complications and can require surgery.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

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