Cardiac Injuries: A Review of Multidetector Computed Tomography Findings

Trauma Mon. 2015 Nov;20(4):e19086. doi: 10.5812/traumamon.19086. Epub 2015 Nov 23.


Trauma is the leading cause of death in United States in the younger population. Cardiac trauma is common following blunt chest injuries and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. This study discusses various multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) findings of cardiac trauma. Cardiac injuries are broadly categorized into the most commonly occurring blunt cardiac injury and the less commonly occurring penetrating injury. Signs and symptoms of cardiac injury can be masked by the associated injuries. Each imaging modality including chest radiographs, echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging and MDCT has role in evaluating these patients. However, MDCT is noninvasive; universally available and has a high spatial, contrast, and temporal resolution. It is a one stop shop to diagnose and evaluate complications of cardiac injury. MDCT is an imaging modality of choice to evaluate patients with cardiac injuries especially the injuries capable of causing hemodynamic instability.

Keywords: Blunt Injuries; CT Scan, Spiral; Cardiac Rupture, Traumatic; Contusions; Hemopericardium.

Publication types

  • Review