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Isolated thoracic duct injury after penetrating chest trauma

Isolated thoracic duct injury after penetrating chest trauma

Annals Of Thoracic Surgery. 60(2): 272-274

Background: Isolated thoracic duct injuries as a result of penetrating chest trauma without any major vascular or tracheoesophageal injury seldom are seen. Methods: A retrospective 13-year review identified 8 patients with this injury. Results: Seven had supraclavicular or suprascapular knife stabs, and the eighth had a low-velocity gunshot injury entering the mid-lateral right chest wall. All 7 stab victims presented with left-sided chylothoraces, and the site of injury of the thoracic duct was within Poirier's triangle, the borders of which are the arch of aorta, the left subclavian artery, and the vertebral column as seen from a lateral approach. Five patients initially were treated conservatively for 13.4 +- 4.4 days without success. Surgical intervention thus was necessary and was successful in all 8 patients. The thoracic duct injury was controlled successfully through a left posterolateral thoracotomy in 6 patients. A supraclavicular repair was attempted in 1 patient but failed to control the leak and required reexploration via the supraclavicular approach. The right chylothorax from the gunshot injury was explored via a right posterolateral thoracotomy; the leak into the pleura was identified and obliterated. Conclusions: As conservative management was uniformly unsuccessful, we advocate early operative management through a thoracotomy on the side of the chylothorax for this relatively rare injury.

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Accession: 008923301

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7646086

DOI: 10.1016/0003-4975(95)00415-h

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