Background: Ventricular free wall rupture is a fatal complication of myocardial infarction (MI). Although described in MI patients who receive thrombolytic therapy, this complication is not well known in ischemic stroke patients who receive intravenous (IV) t-PA.
Methods: Case report.
Results: We present a 93-year-old woman with an acute onset of a right middle cerebral artery syndrome in the setting of subacute MI. IV t-PA was administered and she subsequently developed asystolic arrest and died. Autopsy showed subacute MI, hemopericardium, and rupture of the left ventricle.
Conclusions: This case illustrates a fatal cardiac complication of IV thrombolytic therapy for stroke. The speculated mechanism is hemorrhage into the infarcted myocardium.