No currently used diagnostic test is an accurate predictor of patients who will develop morbidity or mortality from cardiac contusion. In a prospective study we used gated cardiac radionuclide angiography to assess cardiac function in 30 patients with blunt chest trauma, and we compared the results of this test with those of other diagnostic studies for cardiac contusion to determine whether gated angiography is a more accurate predictor of serious cardiac injury. Diagnostic tests included the following: serial electrocardiograms (ECG), serial creatine phosphokinase muscle-brain isoenzyme (CPK-MB) and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) isoenzymes, gated cardiac radionuclide angiography, and technetium-99m (Tc-99m) pyrophosphate scintigraphy. Abnormal studies were present in 26 patients; 22 showed abnormalities in CPK-MB, 19 on ECG, and five on gated scan. No patient demonstrated an abnormal Tc-99m pyrophosphate scan or abnormal elevaton of LDH isoenzyme. Although no diagnostic test was predictive of morbidity and mortality. CPK-MB isoenzyme was the only test to correlate with morbidity and mortality. Morbidity and mortality correlated most closely with the number of associated major injuries and the presence of hypotension or hypoxia.
- cardiac contusion