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October 1974

Spontaneous Rupture of the Subclavian Artery and Innominate Vein

Author Affiliations

From the departments of thoracic surgery, Texas Tech University School of Medicine and Methodist Hospital, Lubbock, Tex (Drs. Dalton and Bricker) and the departments of pathology and clinical hematology, Methodist Hospital, Lubbock, Tex (Dr. Nannini).

Arch Surg. 1974;109(4):552-554. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360040070018

A patient died as a sequel to a spontaneous rupture of the subclavian vein and artery. Despite surgical control by ligation and bypass, he died 11 days later of pulmonary complications. Autopsy showed extreme friability of all arteries and veins and a dissection of the thoracic aorta starting at the point of intraoperative clamping. Although no histologic abnormalities of the vascular wall could be identified, it is thought that he had Ehlers-Danlos disorder of connective tissue, specifically the type IV described by McKusick wherein the vascular system is primarily affected.