Spontaneous Rupture of the Aortic Arch: A Case Report and a Review of Literature

(First Department of Surgery, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan)

Atsushi Bito Kazuto Maruta Yoshiaki Matsuo
Masahiro Aiba Tadanori Kawada Toshihiro Takaba
The extremely rare occurrence of a case of spontaneous rupture of the aortic arch is reported. The patient was a 55-year-old woman who underwent a medical examination at a hospital following a sudden onset of chest pain. After a diagnosis of having cardiac tamponade was established, she was transferred to our hospital. She was in a state of shock with systolic blood pressure recorded at 70mmHg. Computerized tomographic findings indicated cardiac tamponade and hematoma around the ascending aortic arch but no aortic dissection. She was diagnosed as having a ruptured aortic arch and an emergency operation was performed. Apertures were observed on the anterior arch and were closed by a suture under halted circulation. Transesophageal echography was used to correctly identify the aperture on the rupture during the operation. Pathologic findings also indicated only extramural hematoma on the ascending aortic arch without the dissection. The patientfs postoperative progress was satisfactory, and she was discharged after spending 16 days in the hospital. Spontaneous rupture of the thoracic aorta is extremely rare; it cannot be accurately diagnosed and leads to poor prognosis. Even in a case without trauma and aortic aneurysm, this disease should be diagnosed through rapid and detailed examination using computed tomography, and aggressive surgical treatment should be performed.
@Jpn. J. Cardiovasc. Surg. 33: 270-273i2004)