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.