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Ann Surg. Sep 1977; 186(3): 260–270.
PMCID: PMC1396347

Surgery for Post-Myocardial Infarct Ventricular Septal Defect


Forty-three patients (mean age 62 ± 1 years) were treated for ventricular septal defect (VSD) secondary to myocardial infarction. Whenever possible, operation was postponed until six weeks post-onset chest pain. However, hemodynamic instability, evidenced by cardiogenic shock, refractory pulmonary edema, or a rising blood urea nitrogen (BUN) forced operation in 21 patients within 21 days post-infarct (Group I). In seven patients operation was performed three to six weeks post-infarct (Group II). In only eight patients could operation be delayed beyond six weeks post-infarct (Group III). Clinical deterioration, once begun, progressed rapidly, and could be reversed only temporarily by intra-aortic balloon pumping, used in 26 patients for safe conduct of cardiac catheterization and for peri-operative hemodynamic support. Hospital survival was achieved in 24 of the 36 operated patients (66%). In Group I patients, ten of 21 survived. In Group II, six of seven survived. In Group III, eight of eight patients survived. There have been five late deaths with a mean follow-up of 41 months in survivors. Improved survival has been achieved recently by the greater use of prosthetic material to replace necrotic muscle and by a transinfarct incision regardless of infarct location. Operative mortality before 1973 was 47%; mortality after 1973 was only 18%, with a concomitant reduction of mortality (30%) even in Group I patients.

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Selected References

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  • SANDERS RJ, KERN WH, BLOUNT SG., Jr Perforation of the interventricular septum complicating myocardial infarction; a report of eight cases, one with cardiac catheterization. Am Heart J. 1956 May;51(5):736–748. [PubMed]
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Articles from Annals of Surgery are provided here courtesy of Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins


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