Abdominal aortic injury

Dr Vincent Tatco and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Abdominal aortic injuries are very rare and are much less common than thoracic aortic injury

Aortic injury occurs in <1% of blunt trauma patients, with abdominal aortic injury representing only ~5% of all aortic injuries 1. Males are more frequently injured, with the median age ~30 years 5

Abdominal aortic injuries are most commonly from a deceleration in motor vehicle accidents and range from intimal tears/flaps, pseudoaneurysm to aortic transection 3. Aortic wall rupture can be due to branch avulsion 5.

  • blunt trauma
    • motor vehicle collisions (~70%) 2,3
    • crush injuries (~20%) 3
  • penetrating trauma
  • iatrogenic trauma

Associated traumatic injuries in blunt abdominal aortic injury include 2,5:

The radiographic features are not dissimilar to thoracic aortic injuries 4. The seatbelt sign is positive in ~35% of cases 5.

Most (~90%) abdominal aortic injuries are managed non-operatively. Those who require operative management, endovascular repair is more common 2. Mortality is reported at 30% 2,3.

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Article information

rID: 39897
Systems: Vascular, Trauma
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Blunt abdominal aortic injury (BAAI)
  • Abdominal aortic injuries

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: intimal flaps / tears
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    Case 2: lumbar artery avulsion
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