Cardiac arrest associated with aortic valve regurgitation

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Abstract

Blunt chest trauma can cause not only damage to the thoracic cage, but can also injure intracardiac structures including the papillary muscles, chordae tendineae, and valve leaflets. Aortic valve (AV) injury secondary to blunt chest trauma is a rare occurrence. Clinically, AV injury may be missed during the initial post-trauma assessment due to the lack of suspicion of cardiac involvement. Thus, the diagnosis of AV injury is often delayed or missed for a time interval of days to months. As a consequence, the traumatic AV regurgitation can rapidly or progressively lead to congestive heart failure unless surgically corrected. Therefore, emergency physicians should be aware of the possibility of intracardiac structure injury, such as valvular injuries, after blunt chest trauma. Guidelines for the appropriate use of bedside cardiac ultrasound (BCU) recommend BCU should be performed in all patients with new murmurs for clinically significant valvular lesions that could potentially change management.

We described the case of a 73-year-old female patient with AV injury after blunt trauma. She experienced cardiac arrest (CA) secondary to a moderate-to-severe traumatic AR, which was successfully treated with emergency AV replacement. We discuss how to diagnose and manage a CA patient, aided by BCU, with ventricular failure associated with persistent AV regurgitation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report on CA associated with isolated rupture of bicuspid AV rupture and AV regurgitation secondary to blunt chest trauma because of the lack of early suspicion of AV injury.

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