Medical Encyclopedia


Medical Encyclopedia

Other encyclopedia topics:  A-Ag  Ah-Ap  Aq-Az  B-Bk  Bl-Bz  C-Cg  Ch-Co  Cp-Cz  D-Di  Dj-Dz  E-Ep  Eq-Ez  F  G  H-Hf  Hg-Hz  I-In  Io-Iz  J  K  L-Ln  Lo-Lz  M-Mf  Mg-Mz  N  O  P-Pl  Pm-Pz  Q  R  S-Sh  Si-Sp  Sq-Sz  T-Tn  To-Tz  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  0-9 

Myocardial contusion

Contents of this page:


Heart, section through the middle
Heart, section through the middle
Heart, front view
Heart, front view

Alternative Names    Return to top

Blunt myocardial injury

Definition    Return to top

Myocardial contusion is a "bruise" of the heart muscle.

Causes    Return to top

The most common causes are:

Symptoms    Return to top

Pain in the breastbone (sternum) alerts the physician that there may have been an injury. Usually there are no symptoms other than a feeling that your heart is racing.

Exams and Tests    Return to top

Signs include:

Tests include:

Treatment    Return to top

Treatment is usually supportive. Patients are watched for 24 hours and continually monitored by ECG.

Some patients may need pain medication for pain in the breastbone (sternum).

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

You should recover fully.

In non-severe cases, the bruised part of the heart often regains its function without any permanent scarring.

Possible Complications    Return to top

The main complication is that the bruising may lead to heart attack. This may cause long-term weakness in the ability of the heart to contract.

Abnormal heartbeats and conduction of electrical signals (arrhythmias) can occur. These can be serious.

Prevention    Return to top

Basic safety precautions are keys to preventing myocardial contusion. Wear a seat belt when driving and purchase an automobile with air bags.

Update Date: 5/15/2008

Updated by: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M. Logo

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2009, A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.