United States Commotio Cordis Registry

Principle Investigator: Barry J. Maron, M.D.

Institution: Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, Minneapolis, MN

Title: United States Commotio Cordis Registry

Abstract: We have been very successful with the Commotio Cordis Registry in furthering our understanding of this important condition …as is evidenced by our recent major high visibility publication in JAMA (Maron BJ, et al. 2002;287:1308-1320). Nevertheless, many important issues remain unresolved with regard to commotio cordis, and these questions can be answered only through the detailed analysis and assembly of data from greater numbers of victims. This process will continue to afford us the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the precise circumstances and broad clinical spectrum of this entity, the mechanisms of cardiac death and survival (through analysis of arrhythmia’s following collapse), the prevalence of survival and the role and the importance of protective gear. The latter is an absolutely critical issue for future efforts in this field. A relatively small number of such cases in which protective gear failed to prevent ventricular fibrillation have been reported to date. Indeed, assembling more such Registry cases would be of particular relevance from the standpoint of efforts at prevention – – i.e., in documenting a much larger number of cases in which commercially available equipment designed for “safety” did not prevent sudden death from commotio cordis. Knowledge of the frequency of commotio cordis and the precise circumstances of these events unavoidably impacts on policy decisions regarding institution of chest barriers or the development of specially designed (softer-than-normal) safety baseballs. Indeed, much of our data from the Commotio Cordis Registry has (and will continue to have) an influence on the selection of future experiments with the commotio cordis animal model at New England Medical Center (also funded by NOCSAE), particularly those aimed at developing potentially preventive measures such as chest padding or the altered composition of projectiles such as baseballs.