Ventricular Aneurysm: What you need to know

What is Ventricular Aneurysm

A ventricular aneurysm is a blood-filled protrusion that develops in the heart wall as a result of weakening tissue. Ventricular aneurysms are most commonly cause by damage from a previous heart attack, however, they can also cause by birth defects.

Also known as left ventricular aneurysms, ventricular aneurysms are more frequent in the left ventricle. The main concern for a patient with a left ventricular aneurysm is that the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the body may be reduced, resulting in heart failure and death.


Baptist Health is leading for providing modern, superior heart care, as well as the diagnosis, management, and treatment of ventricular aneurysms. You will value on-time appointments and a professional, friendly environment in which we take the time to listen to your issues.

At Baptist Health, you have access to the region’s most comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of specialists and innovative therapies, including many available only through specialized clinical trials.

Symptoms

Ventricular Aneurysm Symptoms

A ventricular aneurysm is a blood-filled protrusion that develops in the heart wall as a result of weakening tissue. Ventricular aneurysms are most commonly caused by damage from a previous heart attack, however, they can also be caused by birth defects.

Common symptoms associated with the ventricular aneurysm include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Syncope
  • Fluid retention causing swelling of ankles, feet, or abdomen
  • Stroke, or thromboembolic phenomenon to any organ in the body
  • Limb or visceral ischemia

Heart failure can result from a big ventricular aneurysm, which makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, swelling in the feet and legs, weight gain, coughing, a racing or fluttering heart, and lightheadedness or fainting are all symptoms of heart failure.

In left ventricular aneurysms, blood clots can occur. A blood clot can separate and migrate through the bloodstream, blocking a blood vessel. This could result in strokes or harm to other organs.

A fast or erratic heartbeat is common in persons with cardiac aneurysms. Also, people with heart aneurysms also have a fast or irregular heartbeat.

Causes

Some cardiac muscles may die as a result of a heart attack. A scar can form on the heart muscle when a portion of it dies. The scar may fade and stretch over time, leading to an aneurysm. Like a weak point on a car tire, the aneurysm bulges outward. It rarely explodes, unlike a tire, but it can significantly limit your heart’s ability to pump blood.


In addition, aneurysms are also more likely to occur and get larger in the months following a heart attack. It is unknown why they form in some persons but not in others.
Also, ventricular aneurysms cause by a weakening of the ventricular wall as a result of heart attack damage. In rare cases, a person can be born with a genetic disorder that can lead to ventricular aneurysms. 

Treatments

Small to moderate-size true ventricular aneurysms can be treated with medications that reduce left ventricular afterload and prevent ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction. Large true ventricular aneurysms or those that do not respond to medical management can be treated with elective surgery.

Aneurysms range from very small (thumbnail size) to very large (doubling the size of the heart). Many left ventricular aneurysms are small and need treatment. Treatments for large aneurysms include:

  • Medicines to treat heart failure and may also need to eat a low-salt diet.
  • Anticoagulant medicine (blood thinners) to prevent blood clots.
  • Medicines to treat heart rhythm problems. You may need a device called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a small battery-powered device that is place under the skin in your chest or belly. The device helps your heart beat in a normal rhythm.
  • Surgical treatment (i.e., PCI or CABG) is a better option for patients with LVA, especially for patients with symptoms and a large aneurysm (≥3 cm), while drug intervention can be considered in those with asymptomatic aneurysms and small aneurysms (<3 cm) and stable heart dimensions

If you have severe symptoms that are not help by these treatments, you may need surgery to remove the aneurysm.

Diagnosis

A ventricular aneurysm may be noninvasively diagnose by means of echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), radionuclide ventriculography, or dynamic gated computed tomography (CT) scanning. Also, it recognizes during cardiac catheterization by means of left ventriculography.

Also, ventricular aneurysm—true or pseudo—is a potential complication of transmural myocardial infarction; the establishment of a patent infarct artery reduces the risk of aneurysm formation. In addition, a ventricular aneurysms may discern in other conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, cardiac sarcoidosis, myocarditis, congenital disease, after cardiac surgery, and in blunt trauma.

Lastly, a true ventricular aneurysm differs from a pseudoaneurysm in terms of morphology and risk of rupture. A true ventricular aneurysm is thinning of the ventricular wall in an area void of muscle and causes by fibrosis or scar formation; it is akinetic and bulges during systole and diastole. A true aneurysm has a wide neck, and the original wall of the myocardium is present within the aneurysmal wall

Preventions

While some risk factors like age and heredity cannot control, there are ways you can help prevent ventricular aneurysms: 

  • Eat heart-healthy foods: Limit your salt, sugar and unhealthy fat intake. 
  • Exercise: 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days per week can help prevent heart attacks. 
  • Avoid use of tobacco and cocaine: Both have significant risk for causing heart attack.
  • Limit alcohol use: Talk with your physician about the amount and types of alcohol you can consume. 
  • Take your medications as prescribed: If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety or depression, be certain to take your prescribed medications as directed. 
  • Get regular screenings if you are at risk: If you are at high risk of a ventricular aneurysm from an inherited condition or previous heart attack, your doctor may recommend regular screenings to see if an aneurysm is forming. 

Food to avoid

Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products instead of full-fat dairy products. Instead of refined white carbs like white rice and white bread, get complex carbs like whole grains and brown rice, and whole-wheat bread. Avoid or limit sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas, fruit juices, and energy drinks.

Leave a Reply