A ventricular aneurysm develops either as a congenital or acquired malformation, but it is most frequently described as a complication of acute myocardial infarction. The clinical presentation can be asymptomatic, while chest pain, dyspnea, bradycardia, and a pericardial friction rub are some of the observed symptoms. A thorough clinical assessment with electrocardiography (ECG) can raise sufficient evidence to employ imaging studies (ventriculography, echocardiography, or magnetic resonance imaging). The latter is the cornerstone for determining the type (true vs pseudoaneurysm) and its size.
Signs and symptoms of a ventricular aneurysm are closely related to the clinical presentation of an acute myocardial infarction (AMI)  . In fact, up to 95% of all ventricular aneurysms are thought to occur in this patient population . Other etiologies associated with this cardiac pathology are trauma, surgical interventions involving the heart, and infections, whereas their appearance as isolated congenital lesions has also been noted     . Despite the different types of aneurysms based on the degree of rupture (a true aneurysm involves the full thickness of the myocardium, while pseudoaneurysms are contained by the pericardial sac), patients present in a similar fashion  . Interestingly, a large number of patients are asymptomatic and smaller aneurysms, in general, do not pose a significant risk to the patient  . In approximately 60% of patients who are symptomatic, however, typical chest pain seen in MI may be reported, as well as dyspnea and hypotension accompanied by bradycardia  . A pericardial friction rub is also observed, together with heart murmurs and an overall decrease in the intensity of heart sounds . Unfortunately, symptomatic patients usually progress to heart failure and are at risk for aneurysmal rupture (which can be life-threatening), development of arrhythmias and insufficiency of the coronary arteries, thrombosis, bacterial endocarditis, and even death . For this reason, an early diagnosis is crucial.
Imaging studies are necessary to make the diagnosis of a ventricular aneurysm. Still, the physician plays a key role in raising clinical suspicion toward a cardiac origin of signs and symptoms. A detailed patient history should cover the onset of symptoms and their progression. A personal history that reveals MI or recent surgery of the heart may be a useful piece of information , whereas auscultation of the heart (during which murmurs, bradycardia, and/or diminished heart sounds are revealed) might reveal crucial findings to make the initial diagnosis. As soon as sufficient evidence is raised, electrocardiography should be performed, but because a distinction between a true aneurysm and a pseudoaneurysm can't be made during this procedure (the importance lies in the somewhat different prognosis and treatment), direct imaging of the heart is necessary . Cardiac ultrasonography (echocardiography) is a useful and noninvasive first-line study that provides very fast results but its ability to visualize an entire aneurysm and determine the exact physical characteristics is inferior, compared to computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)    . Contrast-enhanced MRI is even more superior, as it allows for a complete evaluation of the myocardium and, thus, is able to differentiate a true aneurysm from a pseudoaneurysm .