Relative High Attenuation of the Aortic Wall in Patients with Anemia

The attenuation of blood is related to the hematocrit and is decreased in patients with anemia16-18. Whereas attenuation of the normal aortic wall and blood is similar on noncontrast enhanced CT images of patients with normal hematocrit, in patients with anemia the aortic wall becomes visible secondary to its relatively higher attenuation compared to the decreased attenuation of intraluminal blood. This appearance might be confused with the high attenuation of acute intramural hematoma (IMH). Absence of the typical crescent shape of IMH and absence of displaced intima calcifications usually helps to distinguish anemia from hematoma.

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