The role of cardiac ultrasound in the diagnosis of the ‘surgical’ complications of acute myocardial infarction

  • John H. Smyllie
  • Patricia E. Assmann
  • George R. Sutherland
  • Alan G. Fraser
  • Jos R. T. C. Roelandt
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 113)


Two-dimensional echocardiography is a useful technique for the diagnosis of patients presenting with myocardial infarction. It can rapidly differentiate acute myocardial infarction from other causes of acute severe chest pain such as thoracic aortic dissection, pericarditis and aortic valve disease. The technique has also become a major diagnostic tool for the detection of the mechanical complications of myocardial infarction which in many cases can be corrected by surgical intervention. In addition Doppler echocardiography and more particularly color Doppler flow mapping help to assess the hemodynamic and blood flow abnormalities resulting from these complications so that their presence and severity can be readily evaluated at the bedside in the coronary care unit. The diagnostic potential of both methods may be extended by the transesophageal approach offering an alternative window to the heart when the precordial windows provide poor quality images. This is especially true in immobile, supine patients on ventilators or with an intra aortic counterpulsation in situ. However, at the present time, the reported experience with transesophageal echocardiography in the assessment of the acute complications of myocardial infarction is limited.


Acute Myocardial Infarction Mitral Regurgitation Ventricular Septal Defect Cardiac Rupture Left Ventricular Thrombus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Smyllie
  • Patricia E. Assmann
  • George R. Sutherland
  • Alan G. Fraser
  • Jos R. T. C. Roelandt

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