Diagnosing left ventricular aneurysm from pseudo-aneurysm: a case report and a review in literature

J Cardiothorac Surg. 2009 Feb 24;4:11. doi: 10.1186/1749-8090-4-11.


Rupture of the free wall of the left ventricle (LV) is a catastrophic complication occurring in 4% of patients after myocardial infarction (MI) and in 23% of those who die of MI. Rarely the rupture is contained by an adherent pericardium creating a pseudo-aneurysm. This clinical finding calls for emergency surgery. If no ruptures are detectable and myocardium wall integrity is confirmed, we are in the presence of a true aneurysm, which can be treated by means of elective surgery. Differentiation between these two pathologies remains difficult. We report the case of a patient with a true aneurysm, initially diagnosed as pseudo-aneurysm at our institution; we have reviewed the literature on this difficult diagnosis and outlined characteristic findings of each clinical entity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, False / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Heart Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Heart Aneurysm / etiology
  • Heart Aneurysm / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications*
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis
  • Treatment Outcome