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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 8(3); 1997 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1997;8(3): 407-414.
Role of Two-Dimensional Echocardiography in Diagnosis of Cardiovascular Injuries in Blunt Chest Trauma
Sung Oh Hwang, Kang Hyun Lee, Sun Man Kim, Jin Woong Lee, Eun Seok Hong, Kyoung Soo Lim
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular injury is a potentially fatal complication of blunt chest trauma. The diagnosis of cardiovascular injury in blunt chest trauma is not easy because of concomittent injuries of thoracic cage or lungs and early death from cardiovascular injury. Diagnostic tools such as electrocardiography or cardiac enzyme studies are not specific to cardiovascular injury. Two-demensional echocardiography can visualize anatomic and functional disturbances from cardiovascular injuries in patients with blunt chest trauma. Purpose:
This study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of echocardiography in detecting cardiovascular injury of patients with blunt chest trauma.
METHODS:
We performed echocardiography for detecting cardiovascular injury in 151 patients with significant blunt chest trauma including sternal fracture, multiple rib fractures or pulmonary contusion. Echocardiography was performed within 6 hours since patient arrived emergency department. Electrocardiography was traced on arrival and 24 hours after admission. Serial determinations of cardiac enzymes including MB fraction of creatinine phosphokinase were also performed every 8 hours after admission.
RESULTS:
37(25%) patients had echocardiographic evidences of cardiovascular injury. Abnormal echocardiographic findings were 10 pericardial effusion, 9 regional wall motion abnormality(RWMA) outright ventricle, 5 aortic injuries, 4 reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, 3 RWMA of left ventricle, 2 right ventricular dilatation, 2 valve injuries, and 2 other cardiovascular injuries. Electrocardiographic abnormalities were associated with echocardiographic findings. However, CK-MB/CK ratio was not associated with echocardiographic findings. Significant proportion(65%) of patients with abnormal echocardiographic findings needed cardiovascular management during hospital stay.
CONCLUSION:
Two-dimensional echocardiography is useful for detecting cardiovascular injury. Echocardiographic abnormality in blunt chest trauma is associated with high probability of need of cardiovascular management.
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