Vehicular accidents and cardiac concussion. A traumatic connection

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1997 Sep;18(3):282-4. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199709000-00010.


Concussion of the heart (commotio cordis) occurs in traffic accidents in which blunt force impact over the precordial area occurs, even in the absence of multiple blunt force injuries. The functional dynamics of the heart, with ventricular arrythmias and conduction disturbances, serve as the pathophysiological basis of this condition. As a cause of death in vehicular accidents, it is less common than other causes. However, it should be considered in the differential diagnosis, especially in cases with minor or no apparent injuries.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Adult
  • Contusions / diagnosis
  • Contusions / etiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Heart Injuries / diagnosis
  • Heart Injuries / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / complications*
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / diagnosis