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, 58 (5), 1404-8

Blunt Diaphragmatic and Thoracic Aortic Rupture: An Emerging Injury Complex


Blunt Diaphragmatic and Thoracic Aortic Rupture: An Emerging Injury Complex

S B Rizoli et al. Ann Thorac Surg.


Although both blunt diaphragmatic rupture (BDR) and thoracic aortic rupture (TAR) have been extensively discussed, the association of both injuries has been infrequently mentioned. The purpose of this study was to examine the current prevalence and clinical characteristics of combined BDR and TAR at an adult regional trauma unit. Among 3,886 trauma victims, 69 (1.8%) had a BDR and 44 (1.1%), a TAR. Seven patients (10% of all patients with a BDR) had both injuries. All 7 were victims of motor vehicle crashes and had a mean Injury Severity Score of 35. All TARs were just distal to the origin of the left subclavian artery. Five patients underwent repair of both injuries and survived, 1 patient had only the BDR repaired and survived, and 1 died during emergency thoracotomy, for a survival rate of 86%. Five patients had laparotomy and repair of the BDR in the presence of an unrepaired TAR. The TARs were repaired by the clamp-and-sew technique, three of them with primary repair and two with interposition tube grafts. Concomitant BDR and TAR appears to be an emerging injury complex with both diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. The presence of BDR demands a rigorous search for associated TAR.

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