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damage to the heart, frequently fatal, resulting from a sharp nonpenetrating blow to the adjacent body surface.
com·mo·ti·o cor·dis(kō-mō'shē-ō kōr'dis)
A disturbance in the electrical activity of the heart induced by blunt trauma to the anterior chest (as in athletic injuries, steering wheel injuries, and criminal assaults) without demonstrable structural damage. It can lead to ventricular fibrillation or other fatal arrhythmias and is among the more frequent causes of sudden death in athletes.
[L. agitation of the heart]
commotio cordis(kō-mō′shē-ō kŏr′dĭs)
Sudden death following blunt chest trauma. At autopsy, no pathological findings are demonstrated. The syndrome is believed to be caused by ventricular fibrillation.