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Five cases of blunt traumatic cardiac rupture: success and failure in surgical management

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We report five cases of blunt cardiac rupture seen in our hospital during the last 6 years. All these patients sustained blunt chest trauma due to motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents, and all had vital signs on arrival at the emergency department. We suspected cardiovascular injuries from the findings of echocardiography and CT scans, and all five cases were operated on 2–6 h after injury. Four had a median sternotomy, and one had a lateral thoractomy. During the operations, we found that two patients had pericardium injuries and all five patients had right chamber injuries, which included multiple, ventricle, and large venous injuries in three patients. The tears were repaired using simple suture or ligation techniques for all patients, with cardiopulmonary bypass in three patients. One patient died during the operation, and four patients survived, therefore the survival rate was 80%. We believe that patients with cardiac rupture who are alive when they reach hospital can often be saved by prompt diagnosis and immediate, adequate surgical repairs.

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Correspondence to Masahiro Sakurai MD, PhD.

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Namai, A., Sakurai, M. & Fujiwara, H. Five cases of blunt traumatic cardiac rupture: success and failure in surgical management. Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 55, 200–204 (2007).

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