Case Report

Chylothorax after blunt trauma

Eric Seitelman, Jason J. Arellano, Kazuaki Takabe, Leonard Barrett, Glenn Faust, L.D. George Angus


Presented is a 50-year-old female who sustained a rare blunt traumatic chylothorax.  Traumatic chylothoracies are usually the result of penetrating trauma and disruption of the thoracic duct.  Diagnosis and treatment are discussed.  The diagnosis is sometimes difficult in the trauma setting due to the possible presence of an underlying hemothorax or empyema and the usual delayed onset of chylothorax.  Increased vigilance will allow physicians to properly diagnose and treat this condition early to avoid having to ligate the thoracic duct.

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