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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 26

Am Surg

Persistent Hypoxia After Blunt Thoracic Trauma due to Flail Tricuspid Valve Leaflet and Patent Foramen Ovale.


Toomey NT, Doño A, Lounsbury C, Byerly S, Craig J, Decampli WM, Lenart EK
Am Surg. 2022 Dec 26:31348221148357.
PMID: 36571144.


Structural cardiac injury after blunt trauma is uncommon but usually life-threatening. While tricuspid injury is very rare and potentially lethal, the right heart can accommodate larger volumes and higher pressures in acute tricuspid insufficiency and facilitate initial stabilization prior to definitive valvular repair. ECMO may be used to ameliorate resulting right heart failure. The traumatic force required to cause cardiac structural injury is also associated with pulmonary complications related to pneumothorax, hemothorax, effusion, acute pain secondary to rib fractures, and pulmonary contusions causing hypoxia. We present an unusual case of hypoxia in a trauma patient caused by acute tricuspid regurgitation with pre-existing patent foramen ovale.