Cardiac Complications: Results of Penetrating Chest Wounds Involving the Heart

Richard F. Heller, Shahbudin H. Rahimtoola, Ali Ehsani, Sarah Johnson, David R. Boyd, Constantine J. Tatooles, Henry S. Loeb, Kenneth R. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty-seven patients had penetrating chest trauma that involved the heart during a 21-month period of a prospective study. One patient died. Seventeen patients were treated with emergency surgery. Electrocardiograms showed pericarditis changes in all patients. Fifteen patients (56%) developed 18 cardiac complications. Five of these (33%) needed definitive therapy. Cardiac complications included (1) late onset hemopericarditis and cardiac tamponade; (2) myocardial infarction; (3) complete heart block; (4) intracardiac defects (including ventricular septal defect, aorto-right ventricular communication with aortic incompetence, and a combination of the two), and (5) anterior descending coronary artery aneurysm with coronary arteriovenous fistula and left ventricular aneurysm. There is a high incidence of serious cardiac complications in patients with penetrating chest trauma involving the heart, and close follow-up of these patients is important.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-496
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1974


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