Alternate Names : Traumatic Heart Disease
Myocardial contusion refers to a bruising of the heart. It is usually due to an injury to the chest wall.
What is going on in the body?
Injuries to the chest wall can be placed into two general groups. Penetrating injuries are wounds in which the chest cavity is pierced. Two examples are knife stabbings and gunshot wounds. Nonpenetrating injuries involve crush injuries, or compression of the chest. This type of injury is often a result of motor vehicle accidents or explosions. Alone or in combination, these forces can cause a myocardial contusion.
A myocardial contusion may have the following effects:
bleeding into the membrane that surrounds the heart, which can cause cardiac tamponade
bleeding within the heart muscle
conduction problems, or an abnormality in the transmission of the electrical impulses that control the heartbeat
congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart's decreased pumping ability causes fluid to back up into the lungs
damage to heart valves
death of areas of heart muscle
rupture of the heart chamber walls and nearby structures
weakening of the heart muscle
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Motor vehicle accidents are a common cause of myocardial contusion. The injury can occur when the driver bangs into the steering wheel. Falls and crush injuries can also cause a contusion. The sudden deceleration caused by these injuries creates sudden tearing forces on the body that contribute to the damage.