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January 1958

Complications of Aortography

Author Affiliations

Resident in Surgery, Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital. Present address: Decatur, Georgia.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;76(1):28-34. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01280190030006

Since the introduction of aortography by dos Santos, Lamas, and Caldas,1 in 1929, many thousands of aortograms have been made, with a low incidence of complications. The method has proved to be a valuable diagnostic means for the urologist, the cardiovascular surgeon, and the obstetrician. There were no fatalities among dos Santos' original 300 cases, and Smith et al.,2 Evans,3 and Felson4 have each reported over 1000 cases, without fatality or serious complications. Despite this apparent safety, the procedure has not, at least until recently, gained widespread acceptance. Part of this reluctance may be based on the natural hesitancy of surgeons to puncture the aorta blindly, but undoubtedly the report of Henline and Moore,5 in 1936, discouraged many clinicians. These investigators described fatal hemorrhages in the dog after lumbar aortic puncture. Burns and Hendon6 report dos Santos' criticism of this experimental work by pointing