Southwestern Internal Medicine ConferenceSouthwestern Internal Medicine Conference: The Prevention of Congestive Heart Failure: Left Ventricular Dilation and its Management
Review articleOpen access
Abstract:

ABSTRACTLeft ventricular dilation and re-modelling occur in 35–40% of anterior trans-mural myocardial infarcts and these events are important antecedents to the development of late congestive heart failure. This process commences within the first 24 hours following myocardial infarction and may be steadily progressive over months to years. Both the infarcted and the uninfarcted regions of myocardium are equally involved in the process. Thinning of the left ventricular wall occurs mainly as a result of cell slippage. In addition, compensatory hypertrophy occurs in the uninfarcted segment of the myocardium. While this hypertrophy may initially be physiological, it ultimately appears to become a pathological process and thereby contributes to pump dysfunction. At the present time there are encouraging data to suggest that nitroglycerin, administered in the setting of the acute infarction, or the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor captopril, may ameliorate this process. Whether a patent infarct related artery further limits dilation is uncertain and is currently under investigation.

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