Mitral valve prolapse presenting as a missed myocardial infarction (2023)

Type of publication:Conference abstract

Author(s):*Champaneri K.; *Miller A.

Citation:Journal of the Intensive Care Society. Conference: Intensive Care Society State of the Art Congress, SOA 2023. Birmingham United Kingdom. 24(2 Supplement) (pp 194), 2023. Date of Publication: August 2023.

Abstract:Introduction: An elderly but very active gentleman presented overnight with progressive shortness of breath and leg swelling, two weeks after experiencing chest pain while lifting heavy objects in the garden. The presumed diagnosis was a missed myocardial infarction leading to heart failure exacerbated by a new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. Despite diuresis and rate control, he became progressively more hypoxic and was taken to ICU for non-invasive ventilation. An initial POCUS scan of heart and lungs by an ultrasound fellow undertaking FUSIC accreditation showed a hyperdynamic heart, pulmonary oedema, and bilateral pleural effusions. The echocardiogram was reviewed and repeated by an advanced level operator which dramatically altered the patient's diagnosis and management. Main body: A gentleman in his early 80s presented to the Emergency Department in type one respiratory failure with a high work of breathing. Examination and investigations demonstrated raised inflammatory markers, new atrial fibrillation with a rate of 140, large bilateral plural effusions, and pitting oedema to the groin. Troponin was normal, and the BNP was 4500. ECG showed no ischaemic changes and CXR was consistent with fluid overload and/or pneumonia. Initial management consisted of supplemental oxygen, diuretics, heart rate control, and antibiotics. Despite this his oxygenation deteriorated and he was admitted to the ICU for CPAP, and metaraminol for his hypotension. An initial FUSIC heart scan did not show any signs of ventricular failure. In fact, the heart was hyperdynamic which was more consistent with sepsis. A lung ultrasound did however demonstrate large bilateral plural effusions and the significant pitting oedema of the lower limbs found on clinical examination still suggested a cardiac cause and so help was asked of an advanced level operator. A review of the images and a repeat scan revealed a severe prolapse of the posterior mitral valve leaflet with free, eccentric mitral regurgitation. The leaflet prolapse was not visible on the 1st set of images and was only discovered by more comprehensive scanning. The patient was reviewed by a cardiologist within 30 minutes and transfer to a tertiary centre for emergency mitral valve repair was arranged. <br/>Conclusion(s): Standard history, examination, and investigations of this patient led to a presumed diagnosis of ischaemic ventricular failure. While a basic heart ultrasound did not reveal the pathology, it did demonstrate signs not consistent with the suspected diagnosis prompting a request for a more comprehensive ultrasound assessment. This revealed the underlying pathology, significantly altering the patient's management. This was all done by intensive care clinicians at the bedside, significantly shortening the time to diagnosis and correct management. This case is a good example of why Intensive Care clinicians should be trained in point of care ultrasound at both basic and advanced levels.

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