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Case Reports in Surgery
Volume 2014, Article ID 946061, 3 pages
Case Report

Blunt Force Thoracic Trauma: A Case Study of Pericardial Rupture and Associated Cardiac Herniation

Section of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY 12208-3403, USA

Received 1 May 2014; Revised 29 July 2014; Accepted 29 July 2014; Published 12 August 2014

Academic Editor: Christophoros Foroulis

Copyright © 2014 O. S. Glotzer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pericardial rupture, with associated cardiac herniation, is generally fatal. Diagnosis is difficult and frequently missed due to the subtlety of identifying characteristics. We report a case of a left sided pericardial rupture and cardiac herniation resulting from a high speed motorcycle collision. This report describes the course of treatment from the emergent admission to the diagnosis of the pericardial tear to retrospective CT analysis and rupture identification. In addition the difficulties of initial diagnosis, key symptoms, and identification of CT images are presented and discussed.