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Gen Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2010 Jun;58(6):291-4. doi: 10.1007/s11748-009-0520-3. Epub 2010 Jun 13.

Rupture of the diaphragm and pericardium with cardiac herniation after blunt chest trauma.

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  • 1Department of General Thoracic Surgery, Maebashi Red Cross Hospital, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan.


A 61-year-old man was transferred to our institution because of blunt chest trauma after accidentally falling. A chest roentgenogram (CXR) and computed tomography (CT) revealed bilateral hemopneumothorax and fractures of multiple left ribs, the pelvis, and the left femur. On the second day in hospital, the patient suddenly complained of dyspnea. Emergency CXR and CT revealed elevation of the left diaphragm, suggestive of a traumatic diaphragmatic hernia; emergency surgery was performed. We confirmed rupture of the diaphragm and pericardium with cardiac herniation: the pleural pericardium and diaphragm were torn individually, and the heart and abdominal organs had herniated into the pleural cavity. They were repaired, and there were no cardiopulmonary complications during or after the operation. Pericardiodiaphragmatic rupture with cardiac herniation after multiple blunt traumas is rare. We describe the successful treatment of a diaphragmatic and pericardial rupture with cardiac herniation, with special reference to pericardial injuries.

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