Blunt Thoracic Aortic Injury in Pediatric Patients: Demographics, Assessment and Treatment


Background: There is a paucity of information regarding the management of blunt thoracic aortic injury in the pediatric population compared to adults. This article adds three cases of blunt thoracic aortic injuries in pediatric patients to the literature and analyzes these in conjunction with several of the previous case series which have been published. Methods: Three cases were reviewed along with 38 previously reported cases in an attempt to identify trends in demographics and management. The three new cases presented over a four year period. All are male. A six year old and a 17-year-old were involved in motor vehicle crashes and a 10-year-old was struck by a vehicle while skateboarding. Results: The 6-year-old and the 17-year-old were treated non-interventionally due to severe closed head injuries. One received beta blockade. Both survived. The third, without head injury, underwent interposition graft and also survived. Conclusions: These findings are not greatly dissimilar from the adult experience. In reviewing all 41 pediatric cases, findings reveal a high mortality, predominantly due to head injury as well as the aortic injury. Open repair and interposition grafting continue to be the mainstay of management, with endovascular procedures and non-operative management becoming more prevalent recently. The role of beta-blockade is unclear in children with this injury. Further multicenter prospective studies of this rare pediatric injury may be useful.

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C. Gresik, T. Esposito, D. Hommel, L. Glynn and R. Love, "Blunt Thoracic Aortic Injury in Pediatric Patients: Demographics, Assessment and Treatment," Surgical Science, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 160-165. doi: 10.4236/ss.2013.42031.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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