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  1. Blunt Thoracic Injury - blunt cardiac injury and others- Chao-Wen Chen M.D. Division of Surgical Emergency and Trauma, Department of Emergency, KMUH Trauma M&M Conference

  2. Preface • 2/3 of victims of major blunt trauma suffer from thoracic injury. • Thoracic injury account for 20-25% of deaths due to trauma. • Major thoracic trauma is associated with multisystem injuries in 70% of cases. Trauma M&M Conference

  3. Common Injuries Develop After Blunt Chest Trauma • Thoracic cage fractures • Lung contusion and tears • Myocardium contusion • Aortic rupture Trauma M&M Conference

  4. Initial Survey • Assume the existence of C-spine injury • ABCs • Gerneral evaluation: PE, PH, ECG, or ABG… • Chest x-ray • Administer oxygen Trauma M&M Conference

  5. Imaging Survey • Chest x-ray : serve as a screening rather than a definite test  repeat radiography should be ordered if suspicious • Computed tomography : highly sensitive in detecting injuries and superior to routine chest x-ray recommended in patients with multiple trauma and suspected chest trauma • Angiogram : for suspicious great vessel injuries • Chest ultrasound : detect hemothorax, FAST Trauma M&M Conference

  6. Troublesome Injuries • Sternal fracture • More serious injuries may accompany • If suspected, a lateral CxR may be diagnostic • Operative reduction is usually unnecessary • Hospitalization is not mandatory if the ECG is normal and the patient’s vital sign is stable Trauma M&M Conference

  7. Associated Literature • a 38-year-old female patient transferred to our hospital after being injured in a MVA…On arrival her blood pressure (BP) was 90/50 mmHg but it then dropped to 60/30 mmHg two hours later….her chest x-ray and ECG did not reveal any significant findings, the cardiac echocardiography was performed and revealed pericardial effusion. The chest CT revealed sternal fracture and cardiac tamponade… A diagnosis of cardiac rupture resulting from sternal fracture following blunt chest trauma was made. Under midline sternotomy, her right atrial rupture was repaired.…. “Traumatic cardiac injury following sternal fracture: a case report and literature review”Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences. 18(7):363-7, 2002 Jul. Trauma M&M Conference

  8. Troublesome Injuries • Flail chest • Fracture of 2 or more consecutive ribs in at least 2 places each • About 30-40% of patients need mechanical ventilation • ARDS is increased 20-30% in the presence of flail chest Trauma M&M Conference

  9. Troublesome Injuries • Flail chest • Close monitoring of respiratory performance • Adequate analgesic therapy • Provide oxygen therapy and ventilatory support • Aggressive pulmonary toilet Trauma M&M Conference

  10. Troublesome Injuries • Lung contusion • CxR finding may range from minimal interstitial infiltrate to extensive lobar consolidation • Chest CT is accurate diagnostic tool but not always mandatory • Tx : same as flail chest, but pay attention to avoid overhydration; use of steroid and prophylactic antibiotic are still controversial Trauma M&M Conference

  11. Troublesome Injuries • Blunt Cardiac Trauma - spectrum • Asymptomatic myocardiac contusion • Symptomatic myocardiac contusion • Free wall or septal wall rupture • Valvular tears • Coronary artery thrombosis Trauma M&M Conference

  12. Troublesome Injuries • Blunt Cardiac Trauma – risk factors • Chest impact > 15 mph • Marked precordial tenderness, ecchymosis or contusion • PH of cardiac disease • Fractured sternum • Thoracic spine or ribs fractures • Hemodynamic instability, or multiple injuries • Age > 50 Trauma M&M Conference

  13. Troublesome Injuries • Blunt Cardiac Trauma - assessment • Most are asymptomatic; severe cases die before arrival • Common manifestation : arrhythmia, hemo-dynamic instability • Evaluation : CxR, ECG, cardiac enzymes, echo-cardigram, MUGA Trauma M&M Conference

  14. Associated literature • The ratio of MBCK to total creatine kinase improved specificity at the expense of sensitivity. Measurement of cTnl accurately detects cardiac injury in patients with blunt chest trauma and should facilitate the diagnosis and management of such patients… “Improved detection of cardiac contusion with cardiac troponin I.”American Heart Journal. 131(2):308-12, 1996 Feb Trauma M&M Conference

  15. Associated literature • The combination of normal ECG and TnI at admission and 8 hours later rules out the diagnosis of SigBCI. In the absence of other reasons for hospitalization, such patients can be safely discharged… “Normal electrocardiography and serum troponin I levels preclude the presence of clinically significant blunt cardiac injury” Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care. 54(1):45-50; discussion 50-1, 2003 Jan. Trauma M&M Conference

  16. Associated Literature • Heat shock protein (HSP) synthesis arises transiently as a tool to protect cellular homeostasis after exposure to heat and a wide spectrum of stressful and potentially deleterious stimuli… “Normal electrocardiography and serum troponin I levels preclude the presence of clinically significant blunt cardiac injury” Journal of trauma-injury infection & critical care. 54(1):45-50; Discussion 50-1, 2003 Jan. Trauma M&M Conference

  17. Troublesome Injuries • Blunt cardiac trauma - management • Most cases do not require Tx; Symptomatic arrhythmia (2-5%)  antiarrthythmics • Abnormal ECG and cardiac enzymes almost return to normal within one week. • Patients with abnormal cardiac echo finding or MUGA  keep hospitalization till a repeat test show acceptable finding • Cardiac rupture  prompt surgical repair Trauma M&M Conference

  18. Troublesome Injuries • Blunt cardiac trauma - Guideline (USC+LAC) • Obtain admission ECG and CPK-MB/TnT in patient with suspect BCI • Repeat ECG 8-12 hours after admission • For unexplained hemodynamic instability, abnormal ECG, and abnormal cardiac enzyme levels  perform cardiac echogram • If no suspect symptomatolgy, lab tests or ECG finding discharge after 12 hours Trauma M&M Conference

  19. Pitfalls • Ignore the presence of blunt cardiac injury in patients with blunt thoracic injury • Failure to recognize the blunt cardiac injury as the reason of hemodynamic instability in the absence of bleeding Trauma M&M Conference

  20. Thank you for your attention! Trauma M&M Conference