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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 29

of 'Mechanical complications of acute myocardial infarction'

Surgical experience with left ventricular free wall rupture.
McMullan MH, Maples MD, Kilgore TL Jr, Hindman SH
Ann Thorac Surg. 2001;71(6):1894.
BACKGROUND: Autopsy studies reveal that left ventricular free wall rupture (LVFWR) accounts for 7% to 24% of deaths after myocardial infarction. The condition occurs up to 10 times more often than papillary muscle or interventricular septal rupture. A high index of suspicion must be maintained to differentiate LVFWR from infarct extension, cardiogenic shock, pulmonary embolus, and even Dressler's syndrome.
METHODS: Since 1980, we have operated on 18 patients with LVFWR. Fourteen patients had experienced "blow-out" rupture associated with cardiogenic shock. Four patients had "stuttering" ruptures, a less spectacular occurrence. Echocardiography was the most important diagnostic tool. Repair was performed, usually using infarctectomy and direct suture closure.
RESULTS: Eleven patients (61%) died after operation, 4 patients as a result of rerupture 1 to 12 hours after operation. Recently, we have used a "patch/glue" technique to repair ruptures in 2 patients. We believe this technique is superior to direct suture closure in preventing rerupture. There have been 7 long-term survivors (39%) from 6 months to 15 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Left ventricular free wall rupture is not always sudden and dramatic. Yet, the operating staff must be willing to race to the operating room even with the patient in full resuscitation. Echocardiography is the most sensitive and efficient diagnostic tool. All rupture sites should be aggressively repaired, possibly combining direct suture and patch/glue techniques.
Mississippi Baptist Medical Center, Jackson 39202, USA. cvsc@ucmail.com