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August 1965

Traumatic Rupture of the Thoracic Aorta: Successful Repair Eight Hours After Injury

Author Affiliations

Chief, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Dr. Rey-Baltar); Cardiologist, Service of Cardiology (Dr. Perez-Agote), Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Santo Hospital Civil de Basurto.

Arch Surg. 1965;91(2):344-346. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320140134023

ONE of the evil offshoots of mechanical progress is the ever-increasing number of traffic accidents with a corresponding rise in fatal and nonfatal human injuries. Among these modern-life fatalities is traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta, an entity which is now being diagnosed and treated more and more often and is becoming widely known.

Traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta in young persons 1,2 usually occurs in closed trauma of the chest in traffic accidents in which there is sudden deceleration. The most common site of traumatic section is the aorta below the origin of the left subclavian artery,3 at about the level of insertion of the ligamentum arteriosum. The tear is usually transversal and more or less complete. In about 20% of these cases4 the adventitia remains intact, thus forming a false aneurysm, making it possible for the patient to live for some time after the accident,