The Difficult Diagnosis of Ischaemic Papillary Muscle Rupture : Case report from an urban emergency department

Christian T. Braun, Meret E. Ricklin, Aristomenis K. Exadaktylos


We present a rare case of severe ischaemic papillary muscle rupture in a 67-year-old male patient who was admitted to the Emergency Department of the University Hospital Bern, Switzerland, in November 2013 with acute chest pain. On admission, the patient’s blood pressure was 60/40 mm/Hg, his pulse was 110 beats per minute and his respiratory rate was 20 breaths per minute. An electrocardiogram was normal and focused assessment with sonography in trauma was negative. Transthoracic echocardiography showed possible thickening of the mitral valve leaflet with no indications of severe mitral insufficiency or wall motion abnormalities. Triple-ruleout computed tomography angiography revealed no pulmonary emboli or aortic dissection, although coronary atherosclerosis was present. Finally, severe insufficiency of the mitral valve with rupture of the papillary muscle, likely due to ischaemia, was observed via transoesophageal echocardiography. The patient underwent a successful surgical intervention and was discharged 10 days later in stable condition.


Emergency Medicine; Shock; Myocardial Infarction; Papillary Muscles; Heart Rupture; Echocardiography; Case Report; Switzerland.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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