Echocardiography for Assessing Acute Myocardial Infarction and Complications
The most common etiology of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemia due to coronary artery disease. Clinical outcome is related to the severity of irreversible LV dysfunction. Echocardiography can be of help in the acute phase to diagnose and assess the extent of regional and global LV dysfunction. Also, complications of MI can be diagnosed at the bedside such as mitral regurgitation, septal rupture, free wall rupture, true and pseudoaneurysm, LV thrombus and pericardial effusion. Subsequent exams, weeks to months after MI, are used for prognosis and risk stratification and can determine the final infarct size, the ventricular shape and LV remodelling. Stress echocardiography may be utilized for the detection of residual ischemia and viability after MI.