Latent tricuspid valve rupture after motor vehicle accident: And routine echocardiography in all chest-wall traumas

Suchi Khurana, Rishi Puri, Dennis Wong, Benjamin K. Dundon, Michael A. Brown, Matthew I. Worthley, Stephen G. Worthley

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Blunt chest-wall trauma is common; however, resultant tricuspid valve rupture is rare and can be subtle in its presentation. Transthoracic echocardiography plays a key role in diagnosis. Herein, we report the case of a 42-year-old woman who sustained substantial chestwall trauma in a high-speed motor vehicle accident. She presented a week later with symptoms of right-heart failure, secondary to flail tricuspid valve leaflets and torrential tricuspid regurgitation. The case of this patient highlights the importance of early diagnosis and elicits discussion of the mechanisms that can underlie delayed tricuspid valve rupture. Because the clinical diagnosis of tricuspid valve rupture can be difficult, we believe that echocardiography should be used early and, if necessary, repeatedly in all patients who sustain blunt chest-wall trauma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-617
Number of pages3
JournalTexas Heart Institute Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Accidents, traffic
  • Chordae tendineae/injuries
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart injuries/diagnosis
  • Heart valves/injuries/surgery
  • Rupture
  • Thoracic injuries/complications/ultrasonography
  • Time factors
  • Tricuspid valve/injuries/surgery
  • Wounds, nonpenetrating/complications/diagnosis/ ultrasonography

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