Fatal Salmonella aortitis with mycotic aneurysm rupture

Lynn A. Salzberger, Dominick Cavuoti, Jeffrey Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Salmonellae most commonly cause uncomplicated cases of gastroenteritis but have a predilection for damaged blood vessels, especially those damaged by atherosclerosis. The abdominal aorta is most frequently affected. The most serious complication of Salmonella aortitis is mycotic aneurysm formation with subsequent rupture. The authors present the case of a 61-year-old man who was found unresponsive at home 3 days after discharge from the hospital for treatment of Salmonella gastroenteritis with bacteremia. Postmortem examination revealed a ruptured mycotic aneurysm with a large retroperitoneal hematoma. Numerous gram-negative rods were embedded in the wall of the aorta and surrounding inflammatory infiltrate, compatible with the patient's previously isolated Salmonella. Whereas abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture is most commonly associated with atherosclerosis, the isolation of Salmonella from blood cultures, coupled with radiographic evidence of gas surrounding the aorta, should raise the suspicion of infectious aortitis. Whereas fatal rupture of an aortic aneurysm secondary to atherosclerosis alone or in conjunction with Salmonella aortitis will not have an impact on the manner of death. Salmonella infections are reportable and thus have public health implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-385
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Aortitis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Mycotic aneurysm
  • Salmonella spp.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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