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Keys for detecting cardiac rupture
Date:1/9/2012

This release is available in Spanish.

The cardiologist Aitor Jimnez has managed to gather and characterise in detail 110 cases of cardiac rupture (CR), after spending 22 years (1978-2000) gathering data at the Hospital de Cruces, near Bilbao. It is one of the broadest anatomical series described in this respect. CR is the most serious complication of acute myocardial infarction; it is not very common, but when it does occur, it is mortal in practically all cases. So prevention, although difficult, seems more feasible than cure. Thanks to Jimnez's study, CR risk factors have been detected "to be able to partly predict this complication and conduct more exhaustive monitoring." His thesis, which he defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), is entitled Rotura cardiaca en el infarto agudo de miocardio. Correlacin clnica y patolgica (Cardiac rupture in acute myocardial infarction. Clinical and pathological correlation).

In the cases in which CR occurs, it appears on average on the third day following the infarction. The infarcted wall tears, the blood rushes from the ventricular cavity into the pericardium. The latter cannot handle such a large quantity of blood, so it ends up compressing the heart and stopping it as a result of cardiac tamponade. The rate of CR only represents 1.5% of all the cases studied by Jimnez. However, if one looks only at the patients who end up dying following the infarction, CR turns out to be the cause of death in 29% of the cases.

They die within 20 minutes

The onset of this complication is, as Jimnez explains, sudden: "Once it takes place, the patient dies in 20 minutes. You diagnose it, but there's virtually nothing you can do. At the Hospital de Cruces, a very aggressive protocol has even been established. If CR is suspected, open the patient's thorax in situ an
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
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Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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