A prospective study was carried out to analyze the evolution of patients who survived penetrating cardiac trauma. A total of 642 patients were evaluated. A 1-year follow-up, which included physical examinations, electrocardiography, echocardiography and stress tests, was completed in 192 patients. Data processing included calculation of average and percentage values. At follow-up, 90% of patients were asymptomatic at 2 days after surgery, with normal cardiac monitoring; baseline and control ECGs showed myocardial infarction in 9.1% of patients. Baseline ECGs showed pericarditis as well in 27% of patients and repolarization changes in 35.2%. The latter became normal within 1 to 6 months after the trauma. All (100%) of the patients had a functional status I stress test, and 56% had a normal echocardiography. In conclusion, the epidemiologic behavior of penetrating cardiac trauma is identical to that of general trauma. ECG is useful during the postsurgery period for diagnosis of traumatic myocardial infarction. Likewise, the stress test is useful in patients with myocardial infarction and echocardiography in the presence of either myocardial infarction or any symptom suggesting anatomic or functional alterations of the heart.