Treatment of slow/no-reflow phenomenon with intracoronary nitroprusside injection in primary coronary intervention for acute myocardial infarction

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2004 Oct;63(2):171-6. doi: 10.1002/ccd.20149.


Slow/no-reflow phenomenon is a serious problem complicating primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and is associated with a poor prognosis. From January 2002 to November 2002, 11 of the 70 consecutive patients with ST elevation AMI who were subjected to primary PCI using balloon angioplasty and/or stenting developed slow/no-reflow phenomenon (TIMI 1 flow in 2, TIMI 2 in 8, and TIMI 2.5 in 1). They were 10 men and 1 woman, aged 64 +/- 11 years (range, 46-81). The culprit vessels were six in the left anterior descending coronary artery, three in the right coronary artery, one in the left circumflex coronary artery, and one in saphenous vein graft. Multiple bolus doses (100 microg) of nitroprusside were injected into the index artery through the guiding catheter using a 3 ml syringe until the TIMI flow grade improved by at least one grade or the systolic pressure decline below 80 mm Hg (one patient). The total drug dose varied from 100 to 700 microg. Following the drug treatment, angiographic TIMI flow grade improved by at least one grade in 9 (82%) of the 11 patients (P = 0.007). The TIMI frame counts significantly decreased from 36 +/- 17 frame counts to 16 +/- 11 frame counts (P = 0.012). All patients were discharged without major adverse cardiovascular events. Intracoronary bolus injection of nitroprusside using a 3 ml syringe appears to be a feasible, safe, and effective technique for the management of slow/no-reflow phenomenon complicating primary PCI.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Nitroprusside / administration & dosage*
  • Prognosis
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stents
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilator Agents / administration & dosage*


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitroprusside