Cardiomyopathy induced by sinus tachycardia in combat wounded: a case study

Michael Kavanaugh, Jonathan McDivitt, Andrew Philip, Jerald W. Froehner, John Rotruck, Brian Hemann, Mark Haigney, John Atwood, Joel A.nthony Nations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Tachycardia induced cardiomyopathy is a potentially lethal cause of heart failure generally because of atrial tachycardia and less frequently ventricular tachycardia. We present two cases of Marines with severe traumatic blast injuries secondary to improvised explosive device attacks whose hospital courses included amputation, massive blood transfusions, and multiple surgeries. Both patients had prolonged sinus tachycardia averaging >110 beats per minute and developed depressed left ventricular function, which recovered when treated with β blockers. Sinus tachycardia is often considered a physiological response to stress, and the purpose of this manuscript is to describe the cardiac injury apparently related to a prolonged stress response. In addition, the literature does not clearly recommend controlling heart rates in trauma patients with persistent sinus tachycardia, but it is a therapeutic option that should be considered by providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1062-e1064
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


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