Time course of left ventricular dilation after myocardial infarction: influence of infarct-related artery and success of coronary thrombolysis

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1988 Jan;11(1):12-9. doi: 10.1016/0735-1097(88)90159-3.


Dilation of the left ventricle after myocardial infarction is common, occurs rapidly (within 2 weeks of infarction) and may be self-limited. To evaluate the time course of postinfarction left ventricular dilation and to assess the impact of successful coronary thrombolysis, serial radionuclide left ventricular volume analyses were performed in 36 patients undergoing attempted thrombolysis for acute transmural myocardial infarction. All patients underwent cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography and attempted thrombolysis within 7 h of the onset of symptoms. The site of coronary occlusion was the left anterior descending coronary artery in 17 patients, the right coronary artery in 18 and, in 1 patient, occluded bypass grafts to the right and left circumflex coronary arteries. Attempted reperfusion using a thrombolytic agent was successful in 22 individuals, occurring 5 +/- 1 h after the onset of symptoms. Gated radionuclide ventriculography was performed early (mean time 1 day after admission, n = 36), subacutely (mean time 11 days postinfarction, n = 36) and late after infarction (mean time 10.5 months, n = 25), and a geometric technique was used to measure serial left ventricular end-diastolic volume. Left ventricular end-diastolic volume for the entire group increased significantly (p less than 0.01) from 153 +/- 30 ml at baseline to 172 +/- 45 ml (at 11 days) to 220 +/- 63 ml (at 10.5 months). Twenty of 36 patients showed greater than 20% increase in left ventricular end-diastolic volume (dilation) with time. This appeared early in seven patients, occurred remote from infarction in seven others and showed a progressive pattern in six.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology*
  • Dilatation, Pathologic / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Stroke Volume
  • Time Factors


  • Fibrinolytic Agents