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Ann Vasc Surg. 2000 Sep;14(5):463-7.

Injury of the pulmonary artery and its branches due to penetrating chest trauma.

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Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Guadeloupe University Hospital, Pointe-à-Pitre, France.


This study describes the treatment of seven wounds involving the pulmonary artery or its main branches in six men (36 +/- 12 years). Injury was associated with hemoptysis or massive hemothorax in four patients, three of whom had arrest on the way to the operating room. The mean interval between injury and admittance and between injury and surgery was 18 +/- 8 min and 39 +/- 14 min, respectively. Wounds were located on the left pulmonary artery in two cases, right pulmonary artery in two cases, intermediate branch of the pulmonary artery in one case and right upper mediastinal branch of the pulmonary artery in two cases. Injuries involved penetration of only one side of the vessel in three cases, transfixion of two sides of the vessel in one case, and complete disruption of the vessel in three cases. Treatment required pneumonectomy in two cases presenting complex lesions involving both vessels and lung structures. In the remaining five cases, arterial repair was achieved by resection-anastomosis (n = 2) and lateral suture (n = 3). Our results show that isolated injuries of the pulmonary artery are amenable to surgical repair and have a good prognosis. Mortality appears to be high in patients presenting complex lesions involving vascular and pulmonary structures that require pneumonectomy to achieve hemostasis and in patients presenting associated cardiovascular lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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