Trauma represents the leading cause of death in young adults, and traumatic lesions to the heart and great vessels carry an extremely high mortality, which is partially due to a delayed recognition and treatment of life-threatening conditions. In the present chapter, we describe the pathophysiology and presentation of the most common traumatic lesions to the heart and great intrathoracic vessels and underline the paramount role of transesophageal echocardiography both in the diagnostic and in the operative phases of chest trauma management. Particular emphasis should be placed on the importance of echocardiography in the immediate evaluation of unstable trauma patient, to rule in or out an intrathoracic cause for the patient’s instability.
KeywordsTransesophageal echocardiography Blunt chest trauma Penetrating chest trauma Traumatic aortic injury Blunt cardiac injury Cardiac tamponade Hemorrhagic shock
- American College of Surgeons. ATLS – Advanced Trauma Life Support Student Course Manual. ISBN 78-0-9968262-3-5. 2018.Google Scholar
- Hiratzka LF, Bakris GL, Beckman JA, et al. 2010 ACCF/AHA/AATS/ACR/ASA/SCA/SCAI/SIR/STS/SVM Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with thoracic aortic disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American College of Radiology, American Stroke Association, Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and Society for Vascular Medicine. Circulation. 2010;121:e266–369.PubMedGoogle Scholar