Delayed rupture of thoracic aorta aneurysm following a kick to the abdomen

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Several theories have been proposed to explain the Blunt Traumatic Aortic Rupture (BTAR) because different mechanical forces act on the aorta, at anatomically susceptible sites, including shearing, torsion and stretching, but the origin, transduction and relative importance of these forces remain uncertain. We report a case of a 74-year-old man injured by a kick to the abdomen. After 2 days he felt chest pain paroxysm and weakness in his left leg. The patient was admitted to an emergency care department where he experienced sudden and severe hemodynamic deterioration, dying rapidly. The autopsy, performed 3 days later, showed haemorragic infarction of hypogastric subcutaneous tissues and revealed an extended dissecting aneurysm of the thoracic aorta with following haemopericardium. In our case we considered that a low energy compression to the abdomen, in presence of underlying atherosclerosis, caused aortic dissection rather than rupture and then the 48h time span after the traumatic event and the cardiac tamponade was enough to complete the aortic retrograde dissection. We finally emphasise the importance of the careful surveillance of any trauma close to the abdomen in view of initially unpredictable, as well as eventful injuries. The finding of early signs of neointima formation in thoracoabdominal portions of aortic dissection strongly supported our interpretation. The forensic interest of this case is correlated to the voluntary character of the inflicted injury. The culprit was thus charged with manslaughter.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)87-90
Numero di pagine4
RivistaLegal Medicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2009


  • aorta aneurysm


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