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Changgeng Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1999 Dec;22(4):666-70.

Blunt trauma-induced internal thoracic artery injury: case report.

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Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, R.O.C.


We report the case of a 54-year-old male motorcyclist with an apparent grade IV liver injury and life-threatening hemomediastinum and right hemothorax following blunt deceleration trauma. Massive hemothorax and an unstable hemodynamic status even under copious blood volume replacement made emergent surgical intervention mandatory. A midline laparotomy was performed at first to rule out abdominal bleeding accompanied by a diaphragmatic tear, but the procedure was soon converted to a thoracotomy after finding an intact diaphragm and persistent bleeding from the chest tube. An isolated internal thoracic artery (ITA) transection was identified. It was actively bleeding and causing a huge anterior mediastinal hematoma and had ruptured into the right pleural cavity. The bleeder was controlled with suture ligation and the hemodynamic status was soon stabilized. The patient recovered without significant sequelae. The rarity of this kind of presentation is discussed, including both the ITA injury mechanism and the problems posed in making an early and correct diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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