Interventional therapies such as thrombolytic agents, angioplasty and surgery have emerged as important options in the management of patients with myocardial infarction. These therapies are aimed at improving myocardial perfusion with the ultimate improvement or restoration of myocardial function. Two-dimensional echocardiography with digital storage and display is an ideal technique for temporally monitoring regional ventricular function and the effectiveness of interventional therapy. By design, 2-dimensional echocardiography is noninvasive and can be performed conveniently at the bedside. For these reasons, echocardiography is the principal imaging technique at Indiana University Hospital for patients with acute myocardial infarction. Computer retrieval of echocardiograms can be achieved in about 10 seconds at the nurses' station in the coronary care unit. With the availability of such an examination, the physician has a better understanding of the site, size and function of the infarct area. The state of the noninfarcted myocardium is also assessed and may be critical to the patient's prognosis. With the digital recordings, serial studies can be displayed side-by-side, making it easier for the physician to follow the natural history or to judge the effect of therapy. Echocardiography also is useful in identifying many complications that can occur with myocardial infarction. For these reasons, and because echocardiography will also show related cardiac problems, it is indispensable in the management of acute myocardial infarction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine