Myocardial rupture classification

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Relative Contribution of Myocardial Rupture as a Cause of Sudden Cardiac Death Following STEMI

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2]


Myocardial ruptures can be classified as one of three types.

Type I

An abrupt slit-like tear that generally occurs within 24 hours of an acute myocardial infarction.

Type II

An erosion of the infarcted myocardium, which is suggestive of a slow tear of the dead myocardium. Type II ruptures typically occur more than 24 hours after the infarction occurred.

Type III

These ruptures are characterized by early aneurysm formation and subsequent rupture of the aneurysm.[1]

Alternate Classification Scheme

Another method for classifying myocardial ruptures is by the anatomical portion of the heart that has ruptured. By far the most dramatic is rupture of the free wall of the left of right ventricles, as this is associated with immediate hemodynamic collapse and death secondary to acute pericardial tamponade. Rupture of the interventricular septum will cause a ventricular septal defect. Rupture of a papillary muscle will cause acute mitral regurgitation.


  1. Becker AE, van Mantgem JP. (1975). "Cardiac tamponade. A study of 50 hearts". Eur J Cardiol. 3 (4): 349–58. PMID 1193118.

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