[Penetrating trauma by foreign body in the left heart ventricle]

Rev Esp Cardiol. 1997 Feb;50(2):137-9. doi: 10.1016/s0300-8932(97)73193-2.
[Article in Spanish]


We present the case of a patient who suffered a cardiac penetrating trauma due to a 6-cm long steel splinter. He was self-admitted to the emergency room and was asymptomatic. Cardiac trauma was diagnosed by the presence of a foreign body in his chest X-ray. Transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography showed pericardial effusion and a dense foreign body that crossed the left ventricle from upside down and forward to back. The patient underwent cardiac surgery under extracorporal circulation. A shooting wound was seen on the left ventricular free wall. Transesophageal echocardiography was performed during surgery in order to define the position of the foreign body and to discard lesions due to multidirectional injury. Lesions were repaired and the patient was discharged with no complications. This case report illustrates the possibility of survival after cardiac penetrating trauma, and the role of echocardiography in the diagnosis and surgical repair of this type of trauma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Foreign Bodies / complications*
  • Foreign Bodies / diagnostic imaging
  • Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Heart Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Injuries / etiology*
  • Heart Ventricles / injuries
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Wounds, Penetrating / complications*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnostic imaging
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery