Two-dimensional echocardiographic recognition of left ventricular pseudoaneurysm.
Five consecutive patients with proved left ventricular pseudoaneurysm (PA) and 22 patients with true aneurysm (TA) were studied by two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). In four of the five patients with PA, 2DE successfully displayed the PA. The unique 2DE characteristics of PA include: (1) a sharp discontinuity of the endocardial image at the site of the PA communication with the left ventricular cavity; (2) a saccular or globular contour of the PA chamber; and (3) the presence of a relatively narrow orifice in comparison with the diameter of the PA fundus. In addition, 2DE detected the presence of thrombotic material within the extraventricular chamber in three of four cases. By deriving the ratios of the end-systolic orifice to diameter measurements for the patients with PA (0.37 +/- 0.07) compared with TA (1.00 +/- 0.08), we found that 2DE reliably differentiated PA from TA (p < 0.001). We conclude that 2DE is a useful noninvasive method for revealing left ventricular PAs and for distinguishing PA from TA. Considering the high risk of spontaneous rupture associated with pseudoaneurysms, this noninvasive capability is of paramount clinical importance.
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