Cardiac angiography was reviewed in 91 patients with post-infarction ventricular septal rupture. The results were compared with those of 123 stable survivors who had a positive submaximal exercise test early after infarction. Anterior infarction and occlusion of the infarct vessel were more common in those with ventricular septal rupture than in the comparison group. In the group with ventricular septal rupture there was more left ventricular damage, with aneurysm formation in two thirds, and coronary angiography showed more single than triple vessel disease. In the comparison group there was more triple vessel disease than single vessel disease. Angiographically demonstrable collaterals to the infarct territory were not seen or only very faintly seen in 82% of those with septal rupture. Well developed collaterals were seen in two thirds of the comparison group. These patterns of coronary disease suggest that ventricular septal rupture is more likely in patients with coronary occlusion and little or no collateral support to the infarct territory.
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