Acute circumferential subendocardial infarction.
A 48-year-old black man had his first attack of chest pain on exertion, radiating to both arms, in December 1982 (angina pectoris). It was undoubtedly preceded by a period of asymptomatic coronary atherosclerosis of unknown duration. The first anginal attack was followed by three to four similar episodes over the next four months. The attacks became more prolonged, frequent, and severe thereafter (so-called "pre-infarct" angina), and six days later the patient showed signs of having developed actual myocardial necrosis. The patient underwent saphenous vein coronary artery bypass surgery but could not be weaned from the pump. He died late on the day of surgery. He was found at autopsy to have severe old three-vessel coronary artery disease with the myocardial changes that would be expected from the severe global ischemia to which this heart was undoubtedly subjected. Several basic and important differences between this sort of a circumferential subendocardial infarct and a transmural infarct are discussed, as is the basis for the striking subendocardial hemorrhage.
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