A self-resolving, post-traumatic aortopulmonary shunt

Christopher S.G. Murray, Ythan Goldberg, Cynthia C. Taub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 34-year-old Hispanic man sustained a stab wound to his chest complicated with hemopericardium and pericardial tamponade. He underwent emergent clamshell thoracotomy as well as repair to the pulmonary artery. A transthoracic echocardiogram showed no evidence of intracardiac shunt. Two months later, a new murmur was noted, with a transthoracic echocardiogram revealing high-velocity flow between the left coronary sinus and the main pulmonary artery, with which a coronary computed tomography angiogram concurred. A transesophageal echocardiogram was performed which revealed an aortopulmonic fistula from the left coronary sinus of Valsalva, approximately 1cm anterior to the ostium of the left main coronary artery, to the main pulmonary artery just distal to the pulmonic valve. Pulmonary insufficiency was minimal. The main pulmonary artery was dilated, measuring 3.2 cm by coronary computed tomography angiogram. Right ventricular systolic function was normal. Right and left heart catheterizations were performed to further assess hemodynamics and coronary anatomy; pulmonary artery pressures were 16/8 mm Hg. Aortopulmonary fistula was seen on aortogram. Surgery was deferred in view of lack of symptoms and uncertainty in its natural history in the setting of traumatic etiology. A repeat transthoracic echocardiogram at six-month follow-up showed spontaneous closure of the fistula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-783
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • aorta
  • echocardiography
  • fistula
  • pulmonary artery
  • spontaneous resolution
  • stab wound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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