An aortic transection (also known as a traumatic aortic rupture) is a type of traumatic aortic injury. It is considered the second most common cause of death associated with motor vehicle accidents.
It occurs from a near-complete tear through "all the layers" of the aorta due to trauma (e.g. motor vehicle collision or a severe fall).
It tends to most commonly occur in the proximal descending aorta, near where the left subclavian artery branches off from the aorta. Tethering of the aorta by the ligamentum arteriosum makes the site prone to shearing forces such as those occurring in a sudden acceleration or deceleration event
An aortic transection can be lethal and requires immediate medical attention. Patients who survive to the emergency department usually have partial-thickness tears of the aortic wall with pseudoaneurysm formation.
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