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December 2, 1974

Coronary Artery Occlusion Resulting From Blunt Trauma

Author Affiliations

From the departments of medicine (Dr. Stern) and thoracic surgery (Drs. Wolf, Harrington, and Crosby), University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, and the departments of medicine (Dr. Stern) and thoracic and cardiovascular surgery (Drs. Wolf, Harrington, and Crosby), Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis. Dr. Reichart was a fellow in vascular surgery at Baptist Memorial Hospital and is now at the University of Munich, Germany.

JAMA. 1974;230(9):1308-1309. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240090048028

SEVERE, frontal, nonpenetrating chest trauma is a common event that frequently results in a variety of intrathoracic injuries. The occurrence of a blunt injury to a major coronary artery resulting in coronary occlusion has been rarely reported. A cause and effect relationship between blunt chest injury and coronary occlusion may, at times, be difficult to prove because of the presence of preexisting atheromatous stenosis in the coronary vessels.1-5 We report the occurrence of complete obstruction of the left anterior descending coronary artery following severe, frontal, nonpenetrating chest injury sustained in an automobile accident.

Report of a Case  A 16-year-old white teen-ager was admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital on Aug 25, 1972, following an automobile accident. He was riding in the seat next to the driver and recalled striking his chest and chin on the steering wheel and dashboard. He sustained multiple facial fractures with obstruction of the upper airway