Low-energy blunt chest trauma can cause commotio cordis and ventricular fibrillation (VF) in otherwise healthy young individuals. If the chest wall impact occurs during a narrow vulnerable window of ventricular repolarization, the generated premature ventricular impulse can lead to VF and sudden death. Atrial fibrillation (AF) in association with a blunt chest trauma has not yet been reported in a child or adolescent. Our case describes a healthy 16-year-old boy who suffered blunt chest trauma during football practice. He was found to have AF, which resolved in 3 days without any therapy. He did not have any identifiable structural or electrical cardiac abnormality and had no previous history of arrhythmia. We hypothesize that AF, similar to commotio cordis–induced VF, may occur as a result of a blunt chest trauma in healthy young individuals. Animal studies evaluating arrhythmias related to chest wall impact may elucidate the timing and mechanism of AF induced by commotio cordis.
- Accepted September 24, 2014.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics