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Imaging of Cardiac Herniation in Traumatic Pericardial Rupture

Nassiri, Naiem MD*; Yu, Aaron MD; Statkus, Nicholas MD; Gosselin, Marc MD

Journal of Thoracic Imaging:
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e31818d12de
Pictorial Essay

Cardiac herniation as a result of traumatic pericardial rupture is a serious injury and a difficult diagnosis to make on radiographic studies. Even with the more advanced imaging modalities, this rare diagnosis remains challenging. In a high-energy traumatic setting, there are chest radiograph and multidetector computed tomography findings that are strongly suggestive of cardiac herniation. The imaging, along with greater awareness of this injury, may provide a more rapid diagnosis, thus potentially preventing the severe clinical deterioration often seen in these patients.

Author Information

*School of Medicine

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR

There are no sources of support funding the preparation of this manuscript.

Reprints: Marc Gosselin, MD, Director of Thoracic Imaging, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oregon Health and Science University, Mail Code L-340, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR 97239 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.