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July 1967

Combined Stab Wounds of the Aorta and Vena Cava of the Abdomen

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Tennessee, City of Memphis Hospitals.

Arch Surg. 1967;95(1):12-15. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1967.01330130014003

PENETRATING injury of either the abdominal aorta or the abdominal inferior vena cava is an unusual and dramatic event. A combined laceration of the abdominal aorta and the abdominal inferior vena cava is an exceedingly rare and almost uniformly fatal injury.

Only in the past six years have large series of inferior vena caval injuries been recorded. Ochsner, Crawford, and DeBakey reported 37 cases with a 45.9% survival rate.1 Duke recorded 42 cases with a 40.5% survival.2 Both included the thoracic inferior vena cava in their series.

A similar large series of abdominal aortic injuries has not been reported. Beall, in 1960, analyzed their experience with penetrating thoracic and abdominal aortic wounds.3 There were 14 abdominal aortic wounds of which four (28.5%) survived. Richards et al recently noted that only 12 successfully repaired penetrating wounds of the abdominal aorta had been reported and he added two cases