Cardiac contusion is usually caused by blunt chest trauma and, although it is potentially a life-threatening condition, the diagnosis of a myocardial contusion is difficult because of non-specific symptoms and the lack of an ideal test to detect myocardial damage. Cardiac enzymes, such as creatine kinase (CK), creatine kinase MB fraction (CK-MB), cardiac troponin I (cTn-I), and cardiac troponin T (cTn-T) were used in previous studies to demonstrate the blunt cardiac contusion (BCC). Each of these diagnostic tests alone is not effective for diagnosis of BCC. The aim of this study was to investigate the serum heart-type fatty acid binding protein (h-FABP), N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), CK, CK-MB, and cTn-I levels as a marker of BCC in blunt chest trauma in rats. The eighteen Wistar albino rats were randomly allocated to two groups; group I (control) (n=8) and group II (blunt chest trauma) (n=10). Isolated BCC was induced by the method described by Raghavendran et al. (2005). All rats were observed in their cages and blood samples were collected after five hours of trauma for the analysis of serum h-FABP, NT-pro BNP, CK, CK-MB, and cTn-I levels. The mean serum NT-pro BNP was significantly different between group I and II (10.3 ± 2.10 ng/L versus 15.4 ± 3.68 ng/L, respectively; P=0.0001). NT-pro BNP level >13 ng/ml had a sensitivity of 87.5%, a specificity of 70%, a positive predictive value of 70%, and a negative predictive value of 87.5% for predicting blunt chest trauma (area under curve was 0.794 and P=0.037). There was no significant difference between two groups in serum h-FABP, CK, CK-MB and c Tn-I levels. A relation between NT-Pro BNP and BCC was shown in this study. Serum NT-proBNP levels significantly increased with BCC after 5 hours of the blunt chest trauma. The use of NT-proBNP as an adjunct to other diagnostic tests, such as troponins, electrocardiography (ECG), chest x-ray and echocardiogram may be beneficial for diagnosis of BCC.
Keywords: NT-Pro BNP; blunt cardiac contusion; blunt chest trauma; emergency medicine; h-FABP; trauma.