Acute Fatal Coronary Artery Dissection Following Exercise-related Blunt Chest Trauma

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Abstract

Coronary artery injury such as acute coronary dissection is an uncommon and potentially life-threatening complication after blunt chest trauma. The authors report an unusual autopsy case of a 43-year-old healthy man who suddenly collapsed after receiving a punch to the chest during the practice of kung fu. The occurrence of the punch was supported by the presence of one recent contusion on the left lateral chest area at the external examination and by areas of hemorrhage next to the left lateral intercostal spaces at the internal examination. The histological examination revealed the presence of an acute dissection of the proximal segment of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Only few cases of coronary artery dissection have been reported due to trauma during sports activities such as rugby and soccer games, but never during the practice of martial arts, sports usually considered as safe and responsible for only minor trauma.

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