An Italian man is recovering after getting into a motorcycle accident which resulted in the 90 degree rotation of his heart.
The unnamed man, 48, was taken to an emergency room at a hospital to be treated when doctors realized his heart was in the wrong place while trying to listen to its sounds and rhythms, Live Science reports. An X-ray and CT scan on the man's chest showed that his heart had rotated 90 degrees to the right.
“This is a very interesting anatomical finding, and it's very unusual,” Dr. Gregory Fontana Fontana, chairman of the department of cardiothoracic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told LiveScience.
Fontana was surprised the man had survived the traumatic injury, adding that he had never seen such a case before.
"What's unique about this case is the way the heart rotated so far in the other direction, and the patient was still awake and alert,” Fontana continued.
The man sustained lung injuries in the accident, which resulted in air escaping and filling up space in the chest and pushed his heart to the right, LiveScience reported.
Doctors believe the force of the crash did not cause the man's heart to twist, and that it allegedly happened after the crash.
According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors drained the air and were able to move the man's heart back to its original position after 24 hours. The heart was unharmed.
The man's blood pressure did drop temporarily because the rotated heart prevented blood flow into vessels. He also suffered broken ribs and a ruptured spleen as a result of the accident.
"It's an amazing thing about medicine," Fontana said. "There are so many things we haven't seen yet, and will see in the future with great fascination."