Objectives: To determine the prevalence and clinical significance of early ST segment elevation resolution after primary percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Background: Despite angiographically successful restoration of coronary flow early during AMI, adequate myocardial reperfusion might not occur in a substantial portion of the jeopardized myocardium due to microvascular damage. This phenomenon comprises the potentially beneficial effect of early recanalization of the infarct related artery (IRA).
Methods: Included in the study were 117 consecutive patients who underwent angiographically successful [Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI III)] primary PTCA. The patients were classified based on the presence or absence of reduction > or =50% in ST segment elevation in an ECG performed immediately upon return to the intensive cardiac care unit after the PTCA in comparison with ECG before the intervention.
Results: Eighty-nine patients (76%) had early ST segment elevation resolution (Group A) and 28 patients (24%) did not (Group B). Group A and B had similar clinical and hemodynamic features before referring to primary PTCA, as well as similar angiographic results. Despite this, ST segment elevation resolution was associated with better predischarge left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (44.7 +/- 8.0 vs. 38.2 +/- 8.5, p < 0.01). Group B patients, as compared with those of Group A, had a higher incidence of in-hospital mortality (11% vs. 2%, p = 0.088), congestive heart failure (CHF) [28% vs. 19%, odds ratio (OR) = 4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1 to 15, p = 0.04], higher long-term mortality (OR = 7.3, 95% CI 1.9 to 28, p = 0.004 with Cox proportional hazard regression analysis) and long-term CHF rate (OR = 6.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 33, p = 0.016 with logistic regression).
Conclusions: Absence of early ST segment elevation resolution after angiographically successful primary PTCA identifies patients who are less likely to benefit from the early restoration of flow in the IRA, probably because of microvascular damage and subsequently less myocardial salvage.