Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
This condition is the most common cause of sudden death in young athletes and is usually clinically silent until the event. HCM is characterized by hypertrophy of the left ventricle and ventricular septum without concomitant chamber enlargement. Sudden death most often occurs during or directly after exertion.1 While diabetic hypoglycemia and heat stroke are both common during exertion, the lack of neurologic signs prior to collapse and rapid onset make HCM more likely. Commotio cordis is caused specifically by a direct, powerful blow to the chest resulting in cardiac arrest. The absence of any sharp or stabbing pain prior to the event makes the diagnosis of aortic dissection improbable.2
1. DeLee J, Drez D Jr. DeLee and Drezs orthopedic sports medicine: principles and practices. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2003.
2. Marx J. Rosens emergency medicine: concepts and clinical practice. 5th ed. St. Louis: Mosby; 2004.
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