IT IS THE PURPOSE of this paper to report a most unusual case of traumatic rupture of the aortic root. Rupture of the normal aorta in the regions of the root and of the ligamentum arteriosum has been observed frequently after severe falls and blunt thoracic trauma,1,2 and traumatic ruptures of aortic aneurysms are occasionally seen. However, this case was unique in that the fall was of relatively minor severity; the aorta was free of intrinsic disease, and there was a remarkable degree of cardiomegaly.
Report of a Case
The patient, a 64-year-old white male, had been known to have aortic insufficiency since March, 1956. At that time he was hospitalized because of an accidental head injury at work, a fracture of the petrous portion of the left temporal bone. He was found to have aortic insufficiency, apparently due to rheumatic heart disease. The serologic test for syphilis was