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August 1959

Deceleration Injuries of the Thoracic Aorta

Author Affiliations

Boise, Idaho; Flint, Mich.
From the Section for the Surgery of Trauma (Thoracic Surgery), Hurley Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(2):244-251. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320080080010

Traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta is an injury which should respond favorably to surgical repair if vascular continuity can be reestablished. In Hurley Hospital during the past six years, however, all nine patients seen with this injury have died. Three of these might have been saved if the correct diagnosis had been made and aggressive surgery carried out. Six more died shortly after entering the hospital but presented typical aortic lacerations that will aid in analyzing the characteristics of the injury.

With the advent of rapid transportation, reports of closed ruptures of the aorta have increased. An excellent summary of the cases previously reported has been presented by Strassmann1 and more recently by Eiseman.2 Reported repairs of chronic traumatic aneurysms produced by incomplete lacerations of the aorta are not uncommon.2-6 The diagnostic radiographic signs have been presented by Wyman.7 Numerous studies by the Air Force

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