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November 1961

Tension Hemothorax Following Translumbar Aortography

Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1961;83(5):741-745. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300170097018

Intrathoracic complications of translumbar aortography are rare events, and yet a wide variety of such complications has been reported.1,2,8,12,13 These include esophagitis, pneumothorax, chylothorax, hemopneumothorax, and pleural effusion.8,11,12 McAfee, in his questionnaire survey in 1957 of 12,832 translumbar aortographies, recorded the first instance of hemothorax as a complication of this procedure.12 The patient he reported experienced pleural pain, a fall in blood pressure from 140/100 to 120/80, and a drop in the hematocrit from 38 to 30 in the 48 hours after the procedure, but she did not require transfusion. Left thoracenteses were done on the third, ninth, and 12th postoperative days; these yielded a total of approximately 900 ml. of blood and produced complete clearing of the pleural space as seen by x-ray.

In the case reported herein the bleeding was of greater severity. It was persistent, produced a tension hemothorax, and required operative surgery for