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Pectus excavatum in blunt chest trauma: a case report

Emmanouil Liodakis1*, Eirini Liodaki2, Hrayr G Basmajian3, Nael Hawi1, Maximilian Petri1, Christian Krettek1 and Michael Jagodzinski1

Author Affiliations

1 Trauma Department, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str 1, Hannover, 30625, Germany

2 Department of Plastic Surgery, University Clinic of Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Germany

3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2013, 7:22  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-7-22

Published: 15 January 2013



Blunt cardiac rupture is an exceedingly rare injury.

Case presentation

We report a case of blunt cardiac trauma in a 43-year-old Caucasian German mother with pectus excavatum who presented after a car accident in which she had been sitting in the front seat holding her two-year-old boy in her arms. The mother was awake and alert during the initial two hours after the accident but then proceeded to hemodynamically collapse. The child did not sustain any severe injuries. Intraoperatively, a combined one-cm laceration of the left atrium and right ventricle was found.


Patients with pectus excavatum have an increased risk for cardiac rupture after blunt chest trauma because of compression between the sternum and spine. Therefore, patients with pectus excavatum and blunt chest trauma should be admitted to a Level I Trauma Center with a high degree of suspicion.

Blunt cardiac rupture; Pectus excavatum; Seatbelt injury