Patterned bruising indicating a complete renal artery transection in a fatal occupational accident

  • Lucia TattoliEmail author
  • Biagio Solarino
Images in Forensics
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection of Images in Forensics


Blunt renal artery injury (BRAI) is a rare finding with incidence ranging from 0.05% to 0.08% among blunt abdominal trauma patients. BRAI occurs in 1% to 4% of patients with renal injury, and the most common cause is motor vehicle accidents. An unusual case of BRAI in a 47-year-old man at work is reported. The victim accidentally fell from a scaffold (approximately 3 m in height). He was transported to the hospital where he was intubated, but he died after 30 min despite the cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Surveillance cameras showed the man falling from the scaffold, but his impact with the ground was not captured. At autopsy, except for an oval bruise on the left hypochondrium, no external injury was found. The same mark was noticed on the shirt worn by the victim. Bilateral ribs fractures were found. The abdominal cavity was filled with 2 l of fresh blood and clots as a consequence of a complete transection of the left renal artery. Investigation of the workplace revealed a partial footprint on the external side of the scaffold, matching shoes worn by the victim. On the ground, a metallic pedestrian gate with a 1 m high post was found placed just below the scaffold. It was concluded that the man hit the gate’s post as intermediate impact after the fall, which caused the oval bruise, ribs fractures, and the rupture of the left renal artery without injury of the internal organs.


Patterned bruise Blunt injury Kidney injury Fall Occupational death 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.S.C. Medicina Legale UA.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, Section of Legal and Forensic MedicineUniversity of BariBariItaly

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