The cardiac pendulum: Blunt rupture of the pericardium with strangulation of the heart

Matthew J. Wall, Kenneth L. Mattox, Dwayne Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Blunt injury of the pericardium with strangulation of the heart is a rare clinical injury. Methods: We conducted a review of clinical records and performed prospective collection of forensic data from a large urban medical examiner's office. Results: Ten cases of blunt injury to the pericardium were identified. All were secondary to blunt trauma. Nine of the 10 cases had associated chest wall injuries and 5 of the 10 cases had cardiac strangulation. Conclusion: Pericardial lacerations are common findings at autopsy. Clinically, those that survive to the hospital have a confusing presentation. They are often diagnosed during emergent thoracotomy for hemedynamic instability. Hemodynamic deterioration associated with change in patient position may be a clue to cardiac strangulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

Keywords

  • Automatic
  • Blunt rupture
  • Cardiac pendulum
  • Pericardium
  • Strangulation of the heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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