Nonaortic mediastinal injuries from blunt chest trauma

Loren Ketai, Mary Margaret Brandt, Carol Schermer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In addition to traumatic aortic injuries (TAI), blunt chest trauma may damage other structures in the mediastinum, including the tracheobronchial tree, the heart and pericardium, and rarely the esophagus. Tracheobronchial injuries may be difficult to separate radiographically from accompanying parenchymal lung injuries. Experience with diagnosis by computed tomography (CT) is still limited. Cardiac injuries often require emergent surgery before extensive imaging can be done. Some patients, usually those with chamber ruptures of the right heart, survive long enough to receive a chest CT, at which time hemopericardium can be detected. Upper esophageal injuries may occur in conjunction with lower cervical or upper thoracic spine injures. Distal esophageal injuries are rarely caused by blunt trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Mediastinal diseases/radiography
  • Thoracic injuries/radiography
  • Wounds, nonpenetrating/complications
  • Wounds, nonpenetrating/radiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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