Get answers to your heart disease prevention questions.
Blunt myocardial injury
Myocardial contusion is a "bruise" of the heart muscle.
The most common causes are:
A severe myocardial contusion may lead to signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
Pain in the breastbone (sternum) or front of the ribs alerts the physician that there may have been an injury. There may also be a feeling that your heart is racing.
Other symptoms may include:
Physical exams may show:
Tests may include:
These studies may detect:
Treatment is usually supportive. Patients are watched for 24 hours and continually monitored by ECG.
In the Emergency Department patients may receive:
Mild cases usually recover completely.
More serious injuries to the heart may result in damage to the heart muscles, putting the patient at risk for heart failure or heart rhythm disturbances.
Basic safety precautions are key to preventing myocardial contusion. Wear a seat belt when driving and purchase an automobile with air bags. When working at heights, take appropriate safety precautions.
Hamilton RS. Myocardial contusion. In: Rosen P, Barkin RM, Hayden Sr, Schaider JJ, Wolfe R, eds. Rosen and Barkin's 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2007.
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