Transthoracic echocardiography is a rapid, sensitive and non-invasive technique for diagnosing ventricular septal perforation. Furthermore, left ventricular angiography is generally used for left ventricular aneurysm but right heart catheterization is the gold standard for septal perforation following myocardial infarction. The objectives of the present study were to compare radiological and hemodynamic diagnostic parameters of non-invasive methods with those of right heart catheterization in patients with suspected ventricular aneurysm and interventricular septal perforation after acute myocardial infarction. Data regarding demographics and clinical characteristics, as well as right heart catheterization, echocardiography and angiographic parameters of 199 patients examined within 21 days after myocardial infarction due to suspected ventricular septal defect indicated by persistent colic pain in the pre-cardiac region were collected and analyzed. Coronary angiography identified 149 (75%) patients with single-vessel disease, 42 (21%) patients with two-vessel disease and 8 (4%) patients with triple-vessel disease.
Transthoracic color Doppler echocardiography strengthened the diagnostic performance of right heart catheterization regarding segmental motor abnormalities but underestimated the right atrial pressure, systolic pulmonary artery pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure compared with right heart catheterization (P<0.0001 for all). Overall, there was no procedural complication requiring emergency intervention, no major complications and no conditions resulting in death due to diagnostic modalities. Transthoracic color Doppler echocardiography may strengthen the diagnostic performance of right heart catheterization regarding radiological measurements but underestimated hemodynamic measurements.