ST elevation myocardial infarction case study four

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Case 4: Coagulative Necrosis

Clinical Summary

This was a 57-year-old male whose hospital course following abdominal surgery was characterized by progressive deterioration and hypotension.

Four days post-operatively, the patient sustained an anterior myocardial infarction and died the next day.

Autopsy Findings

The patient's heart weighed 410 grams.

Examination of the coronary arteries revealed marked atherosclerotic narrowing of all three vessels with focal occlusion by a thrombus of the left anterior descending artery.

Fresh necrosis of the anterior wall of the left ventricle and anterior portion of the septum was present, extending from the endocardium to the inner half of the ventricular wall.

Histopathological Findings

Images courtesy of Professor Peter Anderson DVM PhD and published with permission © PEIR, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Pathology

In this gross photograph of the heart from this case, note the area of fresh myocardial infarction (arrows) in the anterior portion of the left ventricle and extending into the anterior portion of the interventricular septum. Note that the walls of the left and right ventricle are slightly thicker than normal.

This is a low-power photomicrograph of the left ventricular free wall extending from the epicardium (1) to the endocardium (2). The area of infarction is the darker red (hypereosinophilic area) along the subendocardium (3).

This higher-power photomicrograph shows endocardium on the right side of this image. Directly beneath the endocardium is a pale area consisting of cardiac myocytes exhibiting vacuolar degeneration (1). The area of infarction is visible as a hypereosinophilic area (2) and there is a second zone of vacuolated myocytes (3) between the infarct and the normal myocardium (4).

This high-power photomicrograph shows the area of infarction on the right (1). There is an area of vacuolated myocytes (2) adjacent to the infarcted myocytes and then normal cardiac muscle to the left (3).

This high-power photomicrograph shows the endocardium (1) and the area of subendocardial vacuolar degeneration (2). The area of infarction (3) contains some red blood cells.

This high-power photomicrograph demonstrates the border between the vacuolated subendocardial myocytes (1) and the infarcted myocytes (2).

This high-power photomicrograph contains normal myocytes (1), vacuolated myocytes (2), and infarcted myocytes (3).


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