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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 198617, 5 pages
Case Report

Gunshot Wound of the Thoracic Aorta with Right Popliteal Artery Embolization: A Case Report of Bullet Embolism with Review of Relevant Literature

Department of General Surgery, Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11212, USA

Received 27 February 2013; Accepted 21 March 2013

Academic Editors: F. Natale and M. J. Ramdass

Copyright © 2013 Saptarshi Biswas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bullet embolism is a well-known but relatively uncommon complication of gunshot injuries. Their rarity and the potential lack of early symptoms lead to delays in diagnosis and often in inadequate early management that can potentially result in the loss of a limb or life. We present an interesting case in which a small caliber bullet to the upper anterior abdomen penetrated the thoracic aorta and traveled to the right popliteal artery embolizing the vessel. The exploratory laparotomy failed to locate neither the bullet nor the trajectory resulting in sudden deterioration and eventual death 5 hours into the postoperative period.