Mechanical Complications of Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Review

Fei Fei Gong, Inga Vaitenas, S. Chris Malaisrie, Kameswari Maganti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Importance: Mechanical complications of acute myocardial infarction include left ventricular free-wall rupture, ventricular septal rupture, papillary muscle rupture, pseudoaneurysm, and true aneurysm. With the introduction of early reperfusion therapies, these complications now occur in fewer than 0.1% of patients following an acute myocardial infarction. However, mortality rates have not decreased in parallel, and mechanical complications remain an important determinant of outcomes after myocardial infarction. Early diagnosis and management are crucial to improving outcomes and require an understanding of the clinical findings that should raise suspicion of mechanical complications and the evolving surgical and percutaneous treatment options. Observations: Mechanical complications most commonly occur within the first week after myocardial infarction. Cardiogenic shock or acute pulmonary edema are frequent presentations. Echocardiography is usually the first test used to identify the type, location, and hemodynamic consequences of the mechanical complication. Hemodynamic stabilization often requires a combination of medical therapy and mechanical circulatory support. Surgery is the definitive treatment, but the optimal timing remains unclear. Percutaneous therapies are emerging as an alternative treatment option for patients at prohibitive surgical risk. Conclusions and Relevance: Mechanical complications present with acute and dramatic hemodynamic deterioration requiring rapid stabilization. Heart team involvement is required to determine appropriate management strategies for patients with mechanical complications after acute myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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