Cardiac contusion can be caused by any direct traumatic injury to the chest. Most commonly, it is the result of a direct blow to the chest from a steering wheel injury in a motor vehicle crash, a sports accident, a fall from a high elevation, an assault, or an animal kick. Injury to the myocardium typically occurs as a result of acute compression of the heart between the sternum and the spine. The anterior wall of the right ventricle is most commonly involved because of its location directly behind the sternum.

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