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Article
May 1954

TRAUMATIC RUPTURE OF THE THORACIC AORTAReview of Literature and Case Report

Author Affiliations

MEDICAL CORPS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE; MEDICAL CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY
From General Surgery Section (Captain Jay) and Thoracic Surgery Section (Colonel French), Department of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington 12, D. C. Colonel French's present address is Letterman Army Hospital, San Francisco.

AMA Arch Surg. 1954;68(5):657-662. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1954.01260050659011
Abstract

TRAUMATIC rupture of the thoracic aorta is rare, but even more unusual are reports of long survival with this lesion. Because of the long survival in this particular case and the possibility that some of these unfortunate patients may be saved, this paper is presented.

One reason for the lack of knowledge concerning this lesion lies in the fact that most cases are diagnosed only at necropsy. The rapid state of shock and coma in which the patient remains until death, plus the concomitant severe injuries in other parts of the body, make the diagnosis during life very difficult.

Strassmann1 reports on 72 cases of traumatic aortic rupture from approximately 7,000 autopsies done from 1936 to 1942 at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in New York City. In this series, 42 patients were less than 50 years old and except for the results of trauma showed no visible gross pathologic change

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