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Rapidly expanding extrapleural hematoma

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We present a rare case of extrapleural hematoma due to chest trauma in an anticoagulated male patient. Chest computed tomography revealed multiple left rib fractures and a D-shaped opacity in the upper left side of the thorax suggesting extrapleural hematoma, which was caused from continuous bleeding. His past history included alcoholic liver cirrhosis, which caused thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy. Therefore, the hematoma was expanding, causing circulatory and ventilatory disturbance and severe anemia despite the difficulty of expanding in the extrapleural space. As the bleeding did not stop, even after intercostal artery angiography with embolization was performed, surgical treatment was undertaken to control the bleeding and evacuate the huge hematoma. The problems associated with the diagnosis and treatment of an extrapleural hematoma are discussed in the light of this case.

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Correspondence to Hitoshi Igai.

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Igai, H., Okumura, N., Ohata, K. et al. Rapidly expanding extrapleural hematoma. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 56, 515–517 (2008).

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