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Vol 14, No 2 (2008)
Case report
Published online: 2008-04-30

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Rare sequelae of blunt chest trauma

Tomasz Brzeziński, Ryszard Pogorzelski, Wawrzyniec Jakuczun, Maciej Skórski
Acta Angiologica 2008;14(2):72-76.


Blunt chest trauma can lead to massive retrosternal haematoma due to injury to blood vessels. A 25-year-old male showed a plain chest x-ray two hours after he had experienced a blunt impact to his sternum. The result was normal. Twelve hours later a second x-ray revealed massive effusion in his right pleural cavity. Computed tomography showed large retrosternal haematoma, but all intrathoracic arteries seemed intact. Operation revealed an injury to the left internal mammary artery. All patients with blunt chest trauma should be diagnosed by means of computed tomography because of the possibility of delayed haematoma and difficulties in assessing the severity of the trauma.

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