First rib fracture resulting in Horner's syndrome

You Cheng Lin, Ming Tsung Chuang, Chin Hao Hsu, Al Rahim Abbasali Tailor, Jung Shun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background First rib fractures and traumatic Horner's syndrome are both quite rare, which can make it difficult to properly diagnose the combination of these 2 conditions in the emergency department. These conditions may be associated with severe medical emergencies, such as ongoing carotid dissection. Case Report We present the case of a 33-year-old man who sustained fractures to his right second, third, and fourth ribs and a delay in the diagnosis of left Horner's syndrome after he was involved in a traffic accident. Left Horner's syndrome was caused by a left transverse fracture of the first rib. This fracture was not detected on chest radiographs and required a 3-dimensional reconstructed neck computed tomography scan for detection. Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This? In the diagnosis of carotid artery dissection, conventional angiography is the criterion standard but is considered invasive. CTA is less invasive, time-saving, and can show more anatomic structures in the neck in addition to the carotid arteries. It is a good screening diagnostic modality in the traumatology department. Although the treatments for Horner's syndrome and first rib fracture are conservative, the early diagnosis of both conditions can resolve the anxiety and uncertainty experienced by both doctors and patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-870
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'First rib fracture resulting in Horner's syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this