Point-of-Care Ultrasound Diagnosis of Ventricular Septal Rupture Post Myocardial Infarction: A Case Report

Published:September 14, 2022DOI:



      Ventricular septal rupture (VSR) is a rare but life-threatening complication of ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a rapid, noninvasive imaging modality that is easily accessible and highly effective in diagnosing VSR in the emergency department (ED) setting.

      Case Report

      A 73-year-old man with a history of type II diabetes mellitus and hypertension presented with complaints of intermittent chest pain for 48 h that had since become constant, associated with diaphoresis and shortness of breath. Physical examination was notable for shock and a new, grade V/VI systolic murmur. An electrocardiogram showed evidence of an inferior ST-elevation myocardial infarction (MI) with associated Q waves. POCUS revealed a large ventricular septal rupture with new ventricular septal defect and associated left-to-right shunting.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      POCUS in the ED setting is an effective and rapid tool for elucidating the etiology of various shock states. Emergency physicians should be aware of this particular case, as POCUS may help identify MI-related complications, including post-myocardial infarction VSR, that may necessitate surgical intervention as opposed to coronary reperfusion procedures.


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