Traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta. A review of 49 cases

P Stark, M Cook, A Vincent, D C Smith
Der Radiologe 1987, 27 (9): 402-6
We examined retrospectively the chest radiograph of forty nine patients with angiographically proven aortic ruptures. The plain film findings found most consistently were a wide mediastinum (69.5%), partial obliteration of the descending aorta (67.3%), left apical cap (65.3%), downward displacement of the left main bronchus (65.3%), tracheal deviation to the right (63.2%), obscuration of the aortic arch (55.1%), right paratracheal stripe thickening (53%) and nasogastric tube deviation to the right (50%). We also examined 113 sequential aortograms performed after thoracic trauma over 3 years, to determine the positive rate in our series; 14 studies were positive for a rate of 12.4%. No single case of proved ruptured aorta with a normal chest radiograph was detected.

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