Traumatic rupture of the thoracic aorta is a life threatening situation, and may be secondary to several mechanisms ; mainly penetrating or iatrogenic lesions and blunt trauma. Although penetrating mechanisms predominate, the number of patients with aortic disruption due to blunt trauma has continued to increase. This paper shows an overview focusing on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, timing and type of treatment regarding traumatic injuries of the thoracic aorta ; it also reports the experience of one single center that deals with these lesions. The major difficulty in the evaluation data on blunt aortic injury is that retrospective reviews often group together patients with all types of aortic lesions, comparing outcomes for injuries in different locations, with diverse methods of repair and different surgeons and/or institutions.
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