Document Type: Case Review



A penetrating chest trauma, a myocardial contusion or a myocardial infarction can lead to a cardiac rupture, which is linked to an extreme high death rate. Only few cases with delayed perforation of the myocardium have been reported in literature. We report about a penetrating gunshot injury, which led to a myocardial contusion with secondary delayed rupture of the left ventricle and the left inferior lobe of the lung. The leakage of the lesion in the left ventricle could be sealed sufficiently with fibrin-coated collagen fleeces after adapting stitches with Prolene 2-0. For additional stabilization of the vulnerable myocardium area, a bovine patch has been placed on the damaged ventricle. Fibrin fleeces are used successfully in cardiac surgery, as in our case, to seal the leakage of the lesion in the left ventricle. The implantation of a bovine patch in the pericardium could prevent a cardiac compartment syndrome with a fatal pericardial tamponade. To prohibit a thoracic compartment syndrome a modified Bogota bag could be sewed in for temporarily closure of the chest. In most cases penetrating cardiac injuries can be treated without heart-lung-machines. An immediate transfer to a cardio-surgical center is, due to the acute situation, not possible. If a surgeon with thoraco-surgical expertise is present a transfer is not absolutely necessary.