Ventricular septal rupture (VSR) is a rare but fatal complication after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, the mortality in patients with recent VSR and appropriate timing of surgical repair have not been clarified. To examine the background characteristics and mortality of VSR patients as well as the usefulness and appropriate timing of surgery in this patient cohort. Among 3,947 consecutive patients with AMI at our hospital, 39 patients diagnosed with VSR from 2002 to 2020 were included in the analysis. All patients underwent transthoracic echocardiography to confirm VSR on admission. Coronary angiography (CAG) and measurement of pulmonary-systemic flow ratio were performed before emergent surgery. The use of mechanical support devices before or after procedures was considered for all patients who underwent CAG. Basically, we performed emergent or urgent operations to patients who were in a shock state or who needed mechanical support. The final decision of the timing of the operation was made by the cardiac team. Patients’ mean age was 76.3 years, and 33.3% of them were males. Most culprit lesions were located in the left anterior ascending artery (81.3%). The mean pulmonary-systemic flow ratio after VSR onset was 3.07 ± 1.98. On admission, 48.7% of patients were in a shock state.
Surgical repair was possible in 28 patients at a median of 1 day after admission, with a mortality rate of 25%. Among all patients, the mortality rate was 43.6%. Survivors were significantly younger (71.3 ± 11.3 vs. 82.7 ± 6.2 years, p < 0.01), had higher mean arterial blood pressure (75.6 ± 14.4 vs. 62.8 ± 16.2 mmHg, p = 0.0496) and lower ejection fraction (44.3 ± 11.7% vs. 54.8 ± 7.9%, p = 0.04), and underwent surgical repair more frequently (95.5% vs. 41.2%, p < 0.01) than the non-survivors. In multivariate analysis, younger age (odds ratio [OR] 1.18 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.38, p = 0.04) and surgical repair (OR 0.04, 95% CI 0.00-0.73, p = 0.03) were significant predictors of survival. In surgical repair cases, time from admission to operation did not differ significantly between survivors and non-survivors. Surgical repair and younger age are predictors of survival in patients with recent VSR, but the timing of surgery was not.