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Acute post-traumatic tension gastrothorax, a tension pneumothorax-like injury

Mortelmans, Luc J.M.a; Jutten, Guido C.Y.b; Coene, Lucb

European Journal of Emergency Medicine: December 2003 - Volume 10 - Issue 4 - p 344-346
CASE REPORT
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Diaphragmatic rupture is an uncommon and frequently missed complication in blunt thoraco-abdominal trauma. Symptoms usually become apparent in a delayed phase, up to years after the trauma. An acute presentation is extremely rare and acute tension gastrothorax in which trapping of air in the intrathoracic stomach causes mediastinal shift and lung compression, as in tension pneumothorax, is exceptional. We only found two cases in the literature. We present here two other cases from our practice, with a review on the literature on post-traumatic diaphragmatic hernias.

Departments of aEmergency Medicine

bSurgery, General Hospital KLINA, Brasschaat, Belgium

Correspondence to Luc J.M. Mortelmans, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, AZ KLINA, Augustijnslei 100, B2930 Brasschaat, Belgium

Tel: +32 3 650 50 45; fax: +32 3 650 50 82;

e-mail: luc.mortelmans@klina.be

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.