During a 3-year period (1986-1989), 8 patients were seen at St. Louis University Medical Center exhibiting the stigmata of traumatic asphyxia. Fewer than 200 cases of traumatic asphyxia have been reported and there is only a single report of a cardiac injury. In this series, 3 of 8 (37.5%) patients were found to have an injury to the heart: two cardiac contusions and a ventricular rupture. Five patients were crushed in motor vehicle collisions, one by an elevator counterweight, and two patients by river barges. Injuries associated with these patients include pulmonary contusion, hemopneumothorax, traumatic pneumatocele, traumatic retinopathy, bone fractures, mental confusion, and liver contusion. There was one death in the series, a patient with rupture of the right ventricle and severe splenic and liver injuries. The cardiac status of the patients was evaluated by serial serum cardiac enzyme determinations, electrocardiograms, and echocardiography. This report illustrates the importance of complete cardiac evaluation in patients with traumatic asphyxia.