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Case Rep Emerg Med. 2013;2013:198617. doi: 10.1155/2013/198617. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Gunshot wound of the thoracic aorta with right popliteal artery embolization: a case report of bullet embolism with review of relevant literature.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11212, USA.


Bullet embolism is a well-known but relatively uncommon complication of gunshot injuries. Their rarity and the potential lack of early symptoms lead to delays in diagnosis and often in inadequate early management that can potentially result in the loss of a limb or life. We present an interesting case in which a small caliber bullet to the upper anterior abdomen penetrated the thoracic aorta and traveled to the right popliteal artery embolizing the vessel. The exploratory laparotomy failed to locate neither the bullet nor the trajectory resulting in sudden deterioration and eventual death 5 hours into the postoperative period.

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