Login | Users Online: 559  
Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size   
Home | About us | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Submit article | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact us

Table of Contents
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-73  

A blunt chest trauma causing left anterior descending artery dissection and acute myocardial infarction treated by deferred angioplasty

Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Date of Web Publication13-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
Rafid Fayadh Al-Aqeedi
Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hamad Medical Corporation, P.O. Box 3050, Doha
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.86018

Rights and Permissions

Traumatic coronary artery dissection is an uncommon cause of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We report a case of blunt chest trauma resulting from a motorcycle collision causing ostial dissection of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery in a 31-year-old previously healthy male. The patient also suffered from compound comminuted fractures of the humerus and ulna and severe liver laceration, which hampered both percutaneous and surgical acute revasularization. After a stormy hospital course, a bare metal stent was implanted to seal the LAD artery dissection. The patient was discharged in a stable condition and was followed-up for rehabilitation. This case report underscores the multidisciplinary approach in facing challenges encountered after rare sequelae of chest trauma.

Keywords: Acute myocardial infarction, blunt chest trauma, left anterior descending artery, dissection, percutaneous coronary intervention

How to cite this article:
Al-Aqeedi RF, Ali WM, Al-Ani F, Abdulrahman YS, Alnabti A. A blunt chest trauma causing left anterior descending artery dissection and acute myocardial infarction treated by deferred angioplasty. Heart Views 2011;12:71-3

How to cite this URL:
Al-Aqeedi RF, Ali WM, Al-Ani F, Abdulrahman YS, Alnabti A. A blunt chest trauma causing left anterior descending artery dissection and acute myocardial infarction treated by deferred angioplasty. Heart Views [serial online] 2011 [cited 2023 Nov 29];12:71-3. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2011/12/2/71/86018

   Introduction Top

Blunt chest trauma might lead to various cardiac injuries ranging from simple arrhythmias to fatal cardiac rupture. Only a few reports in the literature for coronary injuries proven by coronary angiography highlighted therapeutic percutaneous or surgical revascularization modalities. [1] We report a case of blunt chest trauma creating dissection causing subtotal occlusion of the LAD artery culminating in AMI and treated by deferred angioplasty. The challenges encountered in the management are discussed.

   Case Presentation Top

A 31-year-old, previously healthy man sustained a blunt chest trauma after a motorcycle collision. The patient was conscious but with multiple bruises. Heart rate was 88 per minute, blood pressure 103/53 mmHg and pulse oximetry 97%. An electrocardiogram (ECG) showed 3-mm ST-segment elevation in leads I, aVL and V1-2 [Figure 1]. X-rays showed humerus shaft and ulnar olecranon compound comminuted fractures. Chest computed tomography (CT) revealed thin-rimmed left-sided pneumothorax, bilateral pulmonary contusion and fractures of the left 1 st and 6 th ribs. Abdominal CT demonstrated right hepatic lobe focal contusion of 4.0 cm x 3.0 cm, with adjacent laceration of 5.0 cm length (grade III hepatic injury). Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) demonstrated akinetic apex, hypokinetic anterior septum and anterior wall segments with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 42%. Initial creatine kinase-MB was 32 ng/mL and troponin-T was 0.35 ng/mL. The condition was diagnosed as coronary artery injury secondary to cardiac contusion causing anterolateral AMI.
Figure 1: An electrocardiogram obtained in the emergency room showed normal sinus rhythm with 3-mm ST-segment elevation in leads I, aVL and V1-2

Click here to view

A multidisciplinary plan involving a cardiologist, anesthesiologist, cardiac, orthopedist and general surgeon was initiated. The arm fractures were stabilized with a cast. In view of the findings of acute severe liver injury and compound fractures, fibrinolytic therapy was abandoned and the patient was treated conservatively with B-blocker and nitrate and, also, a decision was made to avoid antithrombotic treatment, including antiplatelets and heparin because of the risk of bleeding. However, aspirin was started when the patient was in stable condition.

On the third hospital day, repeat TTE demonstrated a highly mobile echogenic mass in the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT). A transesophageal echocardiogram confirmed the presence of a 1.1 cm x 1.2 cm mass just below the posterior leaflet of the pulmonary valve prolapsing into RVOT during systole, raising the possibility of thrombus. A chest CT with contrast confirmed the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, and intravenous unfractionated heparin was initiated. The following day, the patient progressed to respiratory failure and was put on assisted mechanical ventilation. Coronary angiogram revealed a subtotal ostial occlusion and filling defect with clot in the mid-segment of the LAD artery while the other coronaries were normal [Figure 2]a. The cardiology team elected to continue managing him conservatively in view of the need for planned orthopedic surgery of the wound and compound comminuted fractures of the arm and to repeat angiography with possible Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) after surgery.
Figure 2: (a) Coronary angiogram revealing a subtotal ostial occlusion and filling defect with clot in the mid segment of the left anterior descending coronary artery (arrow). (b) Post angioplasty and stent angiogram

Click here to view

On the fourteenth hospital day, while the patient was still on mechanical ventilation, he developed hypotension and compromised peripheral circulation followed by fever with leucocytosis and severe pulmonary edema. The patient was managed with central monitoring, inotropes, diuretic, heparin and empiric combination antibiotics. The hemodynamics improved and he was weaned off the ventilator after 11 days.

Abdominal ultrasound showed no evidence of liver contusion after 10 days of trauma. A repeat TTE showed no intracardiac masses, but there was a significant drop in LVEF from 42% to 26%. During this period of deterioration, the orthopedic surgeon elected conservative therapy, following up the patient's open wound closely. Thereafter, a repeated coronary angiogram was performed and a 3.0 mm x 23 mm bare metal stent was successfully implanted, sealing the dissection and maintaining normal flow distally [Figure 2]b. He was discharged in stable condition on aspirin, clopidogrel, diuretic, B-blocker and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and followed for rehabilitation.

   Discussion Top

The causative mechanisms of coronary artery injuries after blunt chest trauma are hypothesized to be vascular spasm, dissection, and intimal tear or rupture of an existing plaque with thrombus formation. [2] Recently, several reports described coronary artery dissection following blunt chest trauma, which might reflect the previous underestimation of this sequale. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Chest pain might be masked by other injuries; nevertheless, a strong clinical suspicion is warranted.

Our case was easily recognized within the first hour of trauma because of chest pain and significant ECG. The first challenge prompted was the reperfusion management. In our opinion, if coronary angiography and revascularization are performed early after the onset of ischemia, myocardial tissue may be significantly salvaged. PCI, both with or without stent implantation, has been performed with successful revascularization and reversal of ST-elevations. [1],[6] However, in view of acute severe liver lacerations and arm compound fractures in this patient, both percutaneous and surgical interventional procedures were avoided to minimize potential bleeding hazard with antiplatelet and heparin. However, cases adapting this strategy have reported a post-infarction sequelae with reduced ejection fraction. [7] Although fibrinolytic therapy has been given to certain patients after mild chest trauma, [8] we were prudent not to use such strategy in patient for the same reasons, i.e., the potential for bleeding.

We believe that severe liver lacerations were an obstacle against early intervention of the infarct-related artery, and waiting for a more suitable time may lead to unpredicted complications.

Another challenge that we faced three days post trauma was when, the patient had pulmonary embolism complicated by respiratory compromise. This was when we opted to use heparin to reduce the risk of further thrombosis along with aspirin, which was started earlier. Anticoagulation to manage acute pulmonary embolism was a two-edged-sward in this particular patient. Nevertheless, uneventful anticoagulation might encourage PCI. The diagnostic coronary angiogram revealed dissection causing subtotal ostial LAD occlusion, but conservative treatment continued in view of a planned orthopedic surgery and possible PCI was deferred.

Despite meticulous conservative care, we believe that patients with traumatic coronary artery dissection associated with multiple traumatic injuries, such as in our patients, should have the opportunity of PCI as long as patient is in a favorable clinical status to prevent further deterioration in LV function and occurrence of unpredicted complications.

   Conclusion Top

Blunt cardiac injury caused primarily by motor vehicle collisions encompasses a spectrum of pathology ranging from clinically silent, transient dysrhythmia to deadly free wall rupture. It carries a high mortality rate, yet no reliable diagnostic test exists to identify those patients at greatest risk for an adverse outcome. A high index of suspicion is mandatory in combination with electrocardiogram, troponin, and echocardiography as well as appropriate coronary angiography to improve diagnosis and risk stratification. In addition, we believe that a multidisciplinary approach to the management of complicated cases of blunt cardiac injury with coronary dissection, as in our patient, led to a successful outcome. This case highlights the management challenges in this subset of patients.

   References Top

1.Marcum JL, Booth DC, Sapin PM. Acute myocardial infarction caused by blunt chest trauma: Successful treatment by direct coronary angioplasty. Am Heart J 1996;132:1275-7.   Back to cited text no. 1
2.Pringle SD, Davidson KG. Myocardial infarction caused by coronary artery damagefrom blunt chest injury. Br Heart J 1987;57:375-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Christensen MD, Nielsen PE, Sleight P. Prior blunt chest trauma may be a cause ofsingle vessel coronary disease; hypothesis and review. Int J Cardiol 2006;108:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Aoyagi S, Okazaki T, Fukunaga S, Ueda T. Concomitant traumatic aortic valve andcoronary artery injury. Ann Thorac Surg 2007;83:289-91.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Li CH, Chiu TF, Chen JC. Extensive anterolateral myocardial infarction caused by left main coronary artery dissection after blunt chest trauma: A case report. Am JEmerg Med 2007;25:858-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Thorban S, Ungeheuer A, Blasini R, Siewert JR. Emergent interventional transcatheter evascularization in acute right coronary artery dissection after blunt chest trauma. J Trauma 1997;43:365-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Kahn JK, Buda AJ. Long-term follow-up of coronary artery occlusion secondary toblunt chest trauma. Am Heart J 1987;113:207-10.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Vasudevan AR, Kabinoff GS, Keltz TN, Gitler B. Blunt chest trauma producing acute myocardial infarction in a rugby player. Lancet 2003;362:370.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Right Coronary Artery STEMI following Blunt Thoracic Trauma
Saad Sikanderkhel, Jon-Austin Ash, Kimberly O’Dell, Jacob Mok, Harish Manyam, John Golding, Ertugurul Ercan
Case Reports in Cardiology. 2021; 2021: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
Ninik Ambar Sari, Nisha Dharmayanti Rianto
Critical Medical and Surgical Nursing Journal. 2020; 9(2): 62
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Left main dissection complicating blunt chest trauma: Case report and review of literature
Federico Colombo,Andrea Zuffi,Alessandro Lupi
Cardiovascular Revascularization Medicine. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Traumatic acute myocardial ischaemia involving two vessels
Nemanja Radojevic,Miroslav Radunovic
Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2014; 23: 9
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Presentation
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded102    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal