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Left ventricular free wall impeding rupture in post-myocardial infarction period diagnosed by myocardial contrast echocardiography: Case report

DOI: 10.1186/1476-7120-4-7

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A 50-year-old man with acute myocardial infarction in the lateral wall underwent myocardial contrast echocardiography for the evaluation of myocardial perfusion in the third day post-infarction. A perfusion defect was detected in lateral and inferior walls as well as the presence of contrast extrusion from the left ventricular cavity into the myocardium, forming a serpiginous duct extending from the endocardium to the epicardial region of the lateral wall, without communication with the pericardial space. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the diagnosis of impending rupture of the left ventricular free wall. While waiting for cardiac surgery, patient presented with cardiogenic shock and died. Anatomopathological findings were consistent with acute myocardial infarction in the lateral wall and a left ventricular free wall rupture at the infarct site.This case illustrates the early diagnosis of left ventricular free wall rupture by contrast echocardiography. Due to its ability to be performed at bedside this modality of imaging has the potential to identify this catastrophic condition in patients with acute myocardial infarction and help to treat these patients with emergent surgery.Left ventricular free wall rupture occurs in up to 10% of the in-hospital deaths following acute myocardial infarction (AMI), usually between 3 to 6 days after the infarction. It typically involves the anterior or lateral wall, in the terminal region of the left anterior descending coronary artery distribution. It is associated with transmural infarctions involving at least 20% of the left ventricle, and it rarely occurs in areas with good collateral blood supply [1,2]. The local factors that lead to myocardial rupture are thinness of the apical wall at terminal end of blood supply, poor collateral flow and shearing effect of muscular contraction against an inert and stiffened necrotic area. Rupture of the left ventricular free wall usually leads to hemopericardium and death from cardiac


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