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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


ALVARADO, Camilo et al. Blunt cardiac trauma. Rev. Colomb. Cardiol. [online]. 2016, vol.23, n.1, pp.49-58. ISSN 0120-5633.

Cardiac trauma is one of the primary causes of death amongst general population. It requires a high degree of suspicion of severe blunt trauma, deceleration mechanism and presence of indirect signs, such as ecchymosis and steering wheel or seatbelt marks in the anterior chest wall. Injuries include: cardiac concussion, heart rupture, indirect cardiac injury, such as acute coronary thrombosis, aortic injury, pericardial injury and cardiac herniation. The clinical signs and symptoms include: angina refractory to nitrates, pleuritic pain, hypotension, tachycardia, jugular venous distention that increases on inspiration, S3 gallop, pericardial rub, new murmur or crepitant rales due to pulmonary edema. The electrocardiogram is the first link in the diagnostic algorithm leading to findings such as sinus tachycardia, premature ventricular complexes, atrial fibrillation, right bundle branch block and atrioventricular block. Chest X-rays help to rule out other pulmonary or bone injuries. Troponin I has a negative predictive value of 93% for cardiac trauma; other less specific cardiac enzymes are creatine kinase and creatine kinase-MB. Echocardiogram is indicated in presence of persistent hypotension, abnormal ECG results or acute heart failure. The treatment includes initial stabilization and specific management of the injuries. Some complications may include: cardiac tamponade, myocardial contusion, acute coronary syndrome, cardiac arrhythmias and aortic injury. The prognosis of the patient depends on the vital signs at the time of arrival at the emergency department and the presence of cardiac arrest during the initial approach.

Keywords : Heart rupture; Cardiac surgery; Echocardiogram; Cardiac tamponade.

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