What is Heart Rupture?
Heart rupture is a condition in which the heart beats faster than expected leading to pain and giving a feeling as if the heart would explode. This condition does not occur in reality, but there are certain conditions that may cause the heart to rupture. A study showed that cardiac and heart rupture could have seriously low survival rates.(1)
What Causes Heart Rupture?
There are various conditions that can lead to heart wall rupture.
People with acute myocardial infarction may suffer from myocardial rupture, which is referred to as a heart attack.(2) It can occur in elderly people and those with leukocytosis i.e., an increase in the white blood cells in the blood.
Heart rupture is a rare condition but can be life-threatening. It might occur 1-3 days post a heart attack.
The symptoms of myocardial rupture include:
- Chest pain
- Pale skin
- Fast heartbeat
- Fast breathing
- Cold hands and feet
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is an inherited condition in which the connective tissue such as the blood vessels, skin, and joints are affected.
People with it have flexible joints and stretchy skin that may not hold if having a wound.
The symptoms of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome include:
Heart Trauma Injury
Heart rupture may affect the people who have been hit on the chest. They get a feeling as if their heart would burst. However, the force needed to cause a heart rupture would be very high. It may lead to loss of consciousness or fatality.
Traumatic myocardial rupture might occur in people with injury affecting the diaphragm, pericardium, and papillary muscles. The case report of 2020 indicated that a heart rupture might occur with a displaced rib fracture.(1)
A study was done on the case reports of atrial and pericardial rupture that occurred from blunt cardiac trauma. It was found that most of the injuries were from vehicle collision, vehicles hitting pedestrian, or fall from a high building.(3)
How is Heart Rupture Diagnosed?
Diagnosing heart rupture is very important as its mortality rate is very high. The test that can be helpful in determining a heart rupture include:
- Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE): It is the most common type of EKG examination.(4) In it, a device is placed that uses sound waves from a person’s chest to create heart images. It helps in determining cardiac-related symptoms such as edema, heart murmur, and shortness of breath. This test can be performed at a doctor’s clinic.
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE): This test offers a detailed view of the heart. In the test, a transducer is attached to a flexible tube and inserted into the throat and esophagus of an individual. It is performed under anesthesia.
TEE helps the doctors in checking:
- The size of the heart
- If there is any blood clot in the chamber
- Whether there is any suspicious tissue indicating possible cancer or bacterial infection
- Blockage in the heart valve
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): In this test magnetic field and radiofrequency waves are used to produce the image of the inside of the body. It helps doctors examine the heart and the blood vessels and check the brain after a stroke.
It can also be helpful in determining whether the damage to the heart is due to a heart attack or blockage of the arteries.
Treatment of Heart Rupture
- Different medications such as diuretics, vasodilators, and inotropes are used in the treatment of heart rupture.
- Diuretics are the first type of treatment and the most suitable option for people with a heart attack.
- Vasodilators widen or open the blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to pass through.
- Inotropes act on cardiomyocytes and the heart muscle cells and benefit people with congestive heart failure.
A person with a ruptured heart may have a feeling as if the heart would explode. There are different tests to diagnose this condition. It has a low survival rate, therefore, it is essential to consult a doctor for regular checkups, early diagnosis, and treatment.