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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2015, Article ID 470917, 4 pages
Case Report

Chronic Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Presenting 29 Years following Trauma

1General Surgery, Timaru Hospital, South Canterbury 7910, New Zealand
2Emergency Medicine, Timaru Hospital, South Canterbury 7910, New Zealand
3Timaru Hospital, South Canterbury 7910, New Zealand
4Christchurch Hospital, Riccarton Avenue, Christchurch 8053, New Zealand

Received 1 June 2015; Revised 26 July 2015; Accepted 5 August 2015

Academic Editor: Christoph Schmitz

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Miller 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.


Blunt, nonpenetrating injuries of the thoracic aorta are uncommon and associated with a high mortality rate within the first hour. Aortic injury is missed in 1-2% of patients that survive to hospital, and a chronic thoracic aortic aneurysm may subsequently form. We present a case in which a chronic thoracic aortic aneurysm was diagnosed 29 years following a significant motor vehicle accident. We discuss the epidemiology, presentation, and management of this uncommon consequence of blunt, nonpenetrating aortic injury. Our case illustrates an important clinical lesson; a past medical history of trauma should not be overlooked at any patient assessment.