Condition 101 About Myocardial Contusion

What is the definition of Myocardial Contusion?

Myocardial contusion is a bruise of the heart muscle.

What are the alternative names for Myocardial Contusion?

Blunt myocardial injury

What are the causes for Myocardial Contusion?

The most common causes are:

  • Car crashes
  • Getting hit by a car
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Falling from a height, most often greater than 20 feet (6 meters)

What are the symptoms for Myocardial Contusion?

A severe myocardial contusion may lead to signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the front of the ribs or breastbone
  • Feeling that your heart is racing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness

What are the current treatments for Myocardial Contusion?

In most cases, you will be closely monitored for at least 24 hours. An ECG will be done continually to check your heart function.

Emergency room treatment may include:

  • Catheter placement through a vein (IV)
  • Medicines to relieve pain, heart rate disturbances, or low blood pressure
  • Pacemaker (temporary, may be permanent later)
  • Oxygen

Other therapies may be used to treat a heart injury, include:

  • Chest tube placement
  • Draining blood from around the heart
  • Surgery to repair blood vessels in the chest

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Myocardial Contusion?

People with a mild myocardial contusion will recover completely most of the time.

Serious heart injuries can increase your risk for heart failure or heart rhythm problems.

How do I prevent Myocardial Contusion?

The following safety tips may help prevent a heart bruise:

  • Wear a seat belt when driving.
  • Choose a car with air bags.
  • Take steps to ensure safety when working at heights.
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REFERENCES

Boccalandro F, Von Schoettler H. Traumatic heart disease. In: Levine GN, ed. Cardiology Secrets. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 71.

Ledgerwood AM, Lucas CE. Blunt cardiac injury. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:1241-1245.

Raja AS. Thoracic trauma. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 38.

Latest Advances On Myocardial Contusion

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