What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of cutaneous cholesterol emboli (CCE)?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Angiography is useful for identifying arterial lesions that may represent the source of emboli. Studies should include the entire abdominal aorta with iliac, femoral, popliteal, and tibial arteries.

Some also recommend digital arteriography, which may demonstrate a sharp cutoff pattern representing embolization to digital arteries. Biplanar arteriography, including lateral projection, is recommended to detect anterior and posterior lesions that may be missed with the standard frontal projection.

Ultrasonography is a useful noninvasive method to assess for aortic aneurysms.

Transesophageal echocardiography can be especially useful in identifying thoracic aortic sources of CE but is limited in its ability to visualize the abdominal portion.

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