During a two-year period (February 1973 to February 1975) 20 consecutive patients with post-infarction left ventricular aneurysm, seen at the Wessex Cardiac and Thoracic Centre, underwent aneurysmectomy with or without aorta-to-coronary artery saphenous vein bypass grafts, ventricular septal defect closure, or valve replacement. The diagnoses were established by clinical means, plain chest radiographs, left ventriculography, and selective coronary arteriography. The indications for surgery were uncontrollable congestive heart failure and angina, ventricular arrhythmias, or a rapidly growing aneurysm. Low cardiac indices or high left ventricular end-diastolic pressure were not considered to be contraindications to operation. Resection of the left ventricular aneurysm was performed with the use of normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass with haemodilution. In addition to the aneurysmectomy, four of these patients had concomitant closure of post-infarction ventricular septal defects; four had valve replacements; two had grafts to coronary arteries; and one had both replacement of the mitral valve and a right coronary vein graft. There were two hospital deaths (10%) and two late deaths (10%), making an overall mortality of 20%. All but one of the deaths were related to coronary artery disease. The survivors are active, and their rehabilitation was satisfactory. The longest survivor is doing well two years after left ventricular aneurysmectomy, ventricular defect closure, and tricuspid valve replacement. It is evident from our experience and from the reports of others that surgery has an established place in the management of post-infarction left ventricular aneurysm.
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