Recent insights into pathophysiology and management of mechanical complications of myocardial infarction

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2021 Sep 1;36(5):623-629. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000881.


Purpose of review: Mechanical complications of myocardial infarction are a group of postischemic events and include papillary muscle rupture resulting in ischemic mitral regurgitation, ventricular septal defect, left ventricle free wall rupture, pseudoaneurysm, and true aneurysm. Advances made in management strategies, such as the institution of 'Code STEMI' and percutaneous interventions, have lowered the incidence of these complications. However, their presentation is still associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Early diagnosis and appropriate management is crucial for facilitating better clinical outcomes.

Recent findings: Although the exact timing of a curative intervention is not known, emerging percutaneous and transcatheter approaches and improving mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices have greatly enhanced our ability to manage and treat some of the complications postinfarct.

Summary: Although the incidence of mechanical complications of myocardial infarction has decreased over the past few decades, these complications are still associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. The combination of early and accurate diagnosis and subsequent appropriate management are imperative for optimizing clinical outcomes. Although more randomized clinical trials are needed, mechanical circulatory support devices and emerging therapeutic strategies can be offered to carefully selected patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Early Diagnosis
  • Heart Rupture, Post-Infarction* / diagnosis
  • Heart Rupture, Post-Infarction* / etiology
  • Heart Rupture, Post-Infarction* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency*
  • Myocardial Infarction* / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction* / therapy
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction* / therapy