Surgical indications and timing of repair of traumatic ruptures of the thoracic aorta

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Abstract

Background. The outcome of patients with acute traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta after motor vehicle accidents is strongly conditioned by injuries to other districts. The timing of repair is controversial when the patients arrive alive to the hospital. Methods. A series of 42 patients with acute traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta observed between January 1980 and June 1996 was divided into two groups: group I underwent immediate repair (21 patients) and in group II operation was performed after intensive medical treatment and management of the associated lesions and monitoring of the aortic tear. Results. The mortality in group I patients was 19% and the morbidity was more significant than in group II where no deaths were reported and complications were minor. Conclusions. Patients with acute traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta may have a better fighting chance if aortic operation is postponed to the most favorable moment after undergoing life-sustaining measures and management of the major associated lesions. Needless to say, evolution should be closely monitored by computed tomographic scans and magnetic resonance imaging.

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Galli, R., Pacini, D., Di Bartolomeo, R., Fattori, R., Turinetto, B., Grillone, G., & Pierangeli, A. (1998). Surgical indications and timing of repair of traumatic ruptures of the thoracic aorta. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 65(2), 461–464. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-4975(97)01302-7

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