Fortuitous rupture of aortic aneurysm: A catastrophic event affording time for surgical cure

James B. Young, John O F Roehm, Gerald M. Lawrie, George C. Morris, George P. Noon, Jimmy F. Howell, Rafael Espada, Richard R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The rupture of an aortic aneurysm is generally a fatal event, but occasionally the rupture will occur into an adjacent vascular structure, thereby preventing exsanguination and affording temporary survival. Three cases are presented illustrating the fortuitous nature of the rupture of an aortic aneurysm into a vascular structure. The first patient had an atherosclerotic abdominal aortic aneurysm that ruptured into the inferior vena cava and was successfully repaired. The second case demonstrates the formation of a fistula from the aorta to the left pulmonary artery in a patient with a syphilitic thoracic aortic aneurysm. In the third patient a dissecting aneurysm of the aortic root that communicated with the right ventricle after coronary bypass surgery was successfully repaired. Rarely, aortic aneurysms will rupture fortuitously into vascular capacitance structures. These three cases emphasize the need for early accurate diagnosis and the institution of appropriate surgical measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-867
Number of pages6
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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