A murmur of mitral regurgitation in patients with congestive heart failure after an acute myocardial infarction suggests a surgically correctable cause of the heart failure. Six patients who presented in this manner and who later underwent surgery have been evaluated by two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). The underlying anatomical cause of the mitral regurgitation was correctly identified as papillary muscle rupture (2 cases), ruptured chordae tendineae (1 case) and papillary muscle fibrosis (3 cases).
Two-dimensional echocardiography is useful in evaluating patients with congestive heart failure who develop a systolic murmur after acute infarction, as it can detect surgically correctable structural defects.
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