Diverticulum of the ductus arteriosus. Cause of traumatic aortic ruptures?

Department of Legal Medicine, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Der Chirurg (Impact Factor: 0.57). 02/2007; 78(1):47-51. DOI: 10.1007/s00104-006-1264-6
Source: PubMed


According to angiographic studies 9-26% of all adult aortae show a ductus arteriosus diverticulum (DAD), i.e. an indention of the aortic wall at the insertion of the obliterated ductus arteriosus. This region is predisposed for traumatic aortic rupture. Up to now fixation at the transition from aorta transversa to fixed aorta descendens is regarded as cause. It is unclear whether ductus diverticulum favours traumatic aortic rupture.
A total of 143 thoracic aortas (female symbol:37; male symbol:106, 17-91 years) were scanned histomorphologically for DAD. Calcification was quantified by CT multislice volume scan.
A DAD was detected in 44% of macroscopically non-calcified and slightly calcified aortic specimens. Histologically, autochthonal elastic and collagenous fibres of the media were disrupted. CT in macroscopically non-calcified aortas proved isolated calcification in 78%.
The incidence of 44% DAD-higher than in angiographic studies-can be explained by the method (histopathology), allowing diagnosis of diverticula down to microm. These morphological alterations are to be seen, at least in part, as a causative factor for the predilection to traumatic aortic ruptures.

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