Acute acceleration-deceleration injuries (e.g. traffic accident, fall from high altitudes) can result in acute aortic rupture or dissection. The aorta is anchored at its beginning from the heart, beyond the left subclavian artery and at the level of the diaphragm. In acute acceleration-deceleration trauma when the body is rapidly halted the heart and aortic arch swing forward while the aorta is anchored imposing enormous force onto the aortic wall. This mechanism can lead to rupture and dissection of the aorta and is a frequent cause of sudden death after motor vehicle accidents.
Allan Stewart, MD
Director, Aortic Surgery Program
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Mount Sinai Health System
1190 Fifth Ave: Box 1028
Assistant: Debra Segreti