Unexplained chest pain after a heart attack might be more dangerous than many physicians originally think.
In a case study to be published in the January issue of the international journal Clinical Cardiology, physicians at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia report on a seemingly healthy 55-year-old man who had a silent heart attack and subsequent unexplained chest pain.
Once he was admitted to the hospital, it was discovered that the man actually had a rarely diagnosed complication called subepicardial aneurysm, which, if not quickly treated, could be fatal.
"The chest pain was a rupture of the heart wall about to happen--the most feared complication of a heart attack," explains Michael Savage, M.D., director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "The rupture occurs from a tear in the muscle that has already been damaged by a heart attack. The heart muscle breaks and the wall bursts usually causing cataclysmic death soon after."
The Jefferson researchers recommend that when a patient experiences unexplained pain after a heart attack, physicians should consider the possibility of a subepicardial aneurysm.
Diagnosis of a subepicardial aneurysm is extremely rare, says Dr. Savage, who is also associate professor of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Only 20 cases have ever been reported in the medical literature and many patients were diagnosed after death. It is highly likely that many more patients have died from this complication but the cause of death was unrecognized.
According to lead researcher, Aaron Giltner, M.D., a cardiology fellow at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the man, who worked in construction, came to the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital emergency room with chest pain. A heart attack was initially considered and the emergency physicians called in the interventional cardiologists for a consult.
The cardiologists also initially suspected a heart attack. The patient was admitted to the hospital and was readied for a cardiac catheterization to check for blocked arteries.
The cardiac catheterization suggested a subepicardial aneurysm--an impending cardiac rupture--and the researchers arranged for a CT scan. This confirmed that the patient had a subepicardial aneurysm, a rarely diagnosed complication of a heart attack. Once the problem was identified, surgeons promptly repaired the heart, saving his life.
"As our study shows," Dr. Savage says, "CT imaging can be invaluable in establishing the diagnosis of a subepicardial aneurysm. Clinical recognition of this entity and the use of appropriate imaging modalities are imperative to facilitate life-saving surgical intervention."
Nan Myers | EurekAlert!
NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University
How to turn white fat brown
07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine