Blunt cardiac injury

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Myocardial contusion
SpecialtyEmergency medicine

A blunt cardiac injury is an injury to the heart as the result of blunt trauma, typically to the anterior chest wall. It can result in a variety of specific injuries to the heart, the most common of which is a myocardial contusion, which is a term for a bruise (contusion) to the heart after an injury.[1] Other injuries which can result include septal defects and valvular failures.[2] The right ventricle is thought to be most commonly affected due to its anatomic location as the most anterior surface of the heart. Myocardial contusion is not a specific diagnosis and the extent of the injury can vary greatly. Usually, there are other chest injuries seen with a myocardial contusion such as rib fractures, pneumothorax, and heart valve injury.[3] When a myocardial contusion is suspected, consideration must be given to any other chest injuries, which will likely be determined by clinical signs, tests, and imaging.

The signs and symptoms of a myocardial contusion can manifest in different ways in people which may also be masked by the other injuries.[3] It is recommended that people with blunt chest trauma receive an electrocardiogram to determine if there are any irregularities with cardiac function.[3] The presentation of an abnormal heart rhythm after sustaining a myocardial contusion can be delayed for up to 72 hours.[3]

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  1. ^ Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. 21. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company. 2009. p. 1527. ISBN 978-0803615595.
  2. ^ Townsend Jr CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers M, Mattox KL (2012). Sabiston textbook of surgery : the biological basis of modern surgical practice (19th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders. ISBN 978-1-4377-1560-6.
  3. ^ a b c d Marx, John (2013). Rosen's Emergency Medicine - Concepts and Clinical Practice. Philadelphia: Saunders. pp. 444–46. ISBN 978-1455706051.

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