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Traumatic Aortic-Right Ventricular Fistula

James A. Nowlan Jr., M.D.; Zwi Steiger, M.D.; J. Pedro Bicoff, M.D.; Egbert A. Fell, M.D.; John R. Tobin Jr., M.D.
JAMA. 1962;181(2):159-160. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050280089013a.
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AORTIC-RIGHT VENTRICULAR fistula, an uncommon lesion, is rarely the result of a penetrating wound of the heart. Such fistulas are characterized by peripheral signs suggestive of aortic insufficiency, the appearance of a continuous murmur, and the rapid development of right ventricular failure. Prior to the development of techniques which now permit surgical repair under direct vision, the clinical course of a patient with a communication between the aortic root and right ventricle was usually fatal, but in recent years 4 traumatic aortic-right ventricular fistulas have been successfully repaired. I We recently observed an aortic-right ventricular fistula which resulted from a stab wound.

Report of a Case

On May 13, 1961, at 4:00 a.m., a 36-year-old male laborer was admitted to Cook County Hospital with a stab wound of the left anterior chest. He was in profound shock and an infusion of phenylephrine in 5% dextrose and water was started immediately.


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