Thoracic distraction injury

Case contributed by Dr Andrew Dixon


Motorbike versus pole at high speed.

Patient Data

Age: 30
Gender: Female

This case featured in our 2016 Trauma Radiology Course which is now available to view online.


Massive craniocaudal distraction injury of the thorax at the T4-5 level with separation between the vertebral bodies and ribs by almost 10cm. The intercostal catheters both cross the midline consistent with complete disruption of the mediastinum at the level of the great vessels. The patient was found to be deceased at the time this x-ray was taken. 

Case Discussion

Rare example of a fatal thoracic distraction injury at the T4-5 level. 

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Case information

rID: 32455
Published: 27th Nov 2014
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
System: Chest
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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