This specimen is a segment of aortic arch containing the brachiocephalic trunk, left common carotid
artery and left subclavian artery; the right subclavian artery has been dissected off the trunk. There
is a moderate degree of atherosclerosis of the aorta with focal areas of plaque formation
complicated by ulceration, dystrophic calcification and haemorrhage. The origin of the
brachiocephalic trunk also contains several calcified atherosclerotic plaques. Patchy calcified
plaque is seen throughout almost the full length of the right common carotid artery. The right
common carotid artery is distended by a dissecting aneurysm. The false lumen of this is evident
on the superior surface of the specimen and contains organised blood clot. There is a transverse
incision through the maximum diameter of the aneurysm, this is artefactual and has resulted from
examination of the aneurysm at postmortem.
The patient died as a result of the blood loss from bleeding in an ovarian cyst, this
bleeding being contributed to by anticoagulant therapy which the patient was on because of
prosthetic mitral valve replacement. The common carotid artery aneurysm was an incidental
finding at postmortem.