blunt cardiac injuryDo you always get a troponin for patients who sustain blunt chest trauma?

Hopefully your answer is no. Of note, it is also NOT indicated as a screening test for those in whom you suspect a blunt cardiac injury (BCI). It can be normal in the setting of arrhythmias and it can be falsely elevated in the setting of catecholamine release or reperfusion injury from hypovolemic shock.

The initial screening test should include an EKG and a FAST ultrasound exam. If you have abnormal EKG findings, then a troponin is warranted (in addition to hospital admission).

Below summarizes a suggested algorithm from the recent EM Clinics of North America publication series. Definitive statements are challenging because there is no gold standard to diagnose BCI.

PV Card: Blunt Cardiac Injury


Adapted from 1
Go to the ALiEM Cards site for more resources.

1.
Bernardin B, Troquet J. Initial management and resuscitation of severe chest trauma. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2012;30(2):377-400, viii-ix. [PubMed]
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD

@M_Lin

Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Founder of ALiEM @aliemteam #PostitPearls https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD