Injury to a bronchus or even transection is seldom recognized at the time of injury or in the early period after injury.1 Healing may produce a bronchial stricture and atelectasis which if not recognized early may deprive the patient of early reparative surgery. Recovered cases have been reported with increasing awareness of this entity. Twenty years ago Clerf reported 2 cases—one of which he followed for several years after an auto accident in which a boy suffered complete atelectasis of the right main bronchus.2 The child was still asymptomatic 13 years after the accident. Clerf concluded that failure of untoward development over such a period would indicate that injury is not incompatible with life. The first known long-standing case of recovery was 21 years after an accident. Diagnosis was made at autopsy and reported by Krinitzki.3
The exact mechanism of bronchial fracture is not completely clear. It
VONFRAENKEL PH. Rupture of the Bronchus. Arch Otolaryngol. 1962;75(5):437–439. doi:10.1001/archotol.1962.00740040448011
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