Vascular injuries have received a vast amount of study during the past 15 years as a result of the abundant clinical material provided by two wars and an ever-increasing rate of civilian trauma. Most of the literature, from both war and civilian experience, deals with injuries to peripheral vessels. Very little has been written concerning wounds of the aorta. The obvious answer to the paucity of reported cases of aortic wounds is, of course, that patients with an injury to the aorta usually die of severe hemorrhage before medical care is obtained.
Admission of a patient to the Louisville General Hospital with a gunshot wound of the thoracic aorta, which was successfully repaired, provided the stimulus for an experimental study of aortic gunshot wounds.
Report of Case
A 42-year-old Negro was admitted to the operating room at the Louisville General Hospital on Oct. 20, 1956, some 15 to 20 minutes