A review of the literature has shown that atheroembolism as a cause of clinically evident disease is an entity that is little documented. Sections of tissues from necropsies on patients over the age of 60 years from 1970 to 1977 inclusive were reviewed and examined for evidence of atheroembolism, and an incidence of 0.79% was found. In every case of embolism the aorta showed advanced atheroma, sometimes with aneurysm formation. The ESR in some instances was increased, sometimes markedly so. Some of the problems of antemorten diagnosis are discussed. To emphasise the possible clinical importance of the condition, a rare instance of spinal cord infarction due to atheroembolism is described.
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