Multimodality Imaging of Cardiac Trauma

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Purpose of review: The purpose of this article is to review the imaging findings of blunt and penetrating traumatic cardiac injury. Recent findings: Due to its speed of acquisition and ready availability, multidetector CT has become the gold standard for imaging of both blunt and penetrating cardiac trauma. Echocardiography is the first-line modality for evaluation of the valves. While magnetic resonance imaging provides the most comprehensive examination, it should only be utilized for problem solving or follow-up. Summary: Cardiac traumatic injury is a rare entity that may result in significant adverse clinical outcomes. Variability in clinical presentation renders clinical diagnosis difficult, especially in the absence of a true gold standard. While cross-sectional imaging is rarely ordered to directly assess for cardiac injury, imaging is frequently utilized in trauma and may be valuable in providing clues to the diagnosis of cardiac injury and helping guide which injuries require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Blunt cardiac injury
  • Cardiac trauma
  • Myocardial contusion
  • Myocardial rupture
  • Penetrating cardiac injury


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