BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Myocardial ruptures, including: ventricular free wall rupture (VFWR) and ventricular septal rupture (VSR), after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), are fatal complications. Recently, ubiquitous use of echocardiographs, and other imaging techniques, allows us to diagnose these complications in the antemortem period. Thus, this study retrospectively evaluated the clinical characteristics of patients with myocardial ruptures following AMI. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 620 patients that had had AMIs, between January 1999 and June 2001, were analysed for the purpose of this study. Myocardial ruptures were diagnosed from their clinical symptoms, echocardiographs, and pericardiocenteses or cardiac catheterizations. The clinical characteristics of the patients with myocardial ruptures (n=15) were compared to those patients with myocardial infarction, without rupture (n=397), from their Q waves. RESULTS: The patients with myocardial ruptures were older than those without (67+/-9.7 years vs 60+/-11.7 years, p<0.05), and ruptures were more frequent in women (66.7% vs 25.2%, p<0.001). The frequency of systemic hypertension, DM, and the distribution of infarction sites were similar in both groups. Also, clinical characteristics between patients with VFWR, and those with VSR, were similar. Of the patients with VFWR (n=8), 7 suddenly died, and 1 was alive directly following surgery. Of the patients with VSR (n=7), 4 died. CONCLUSION: Myocardial rupture is a fatal complication of AMI, which is more frequent in women, and the patients with ruptures, in our study, were older than those without.