Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the relative benefit of intensive medical therapy compared with coronary revascularization for suppressing scintigraphic ischemia.
Background: Although medical therapies can reduce myocardial ischemia and improve patient survival after acute myocardial infarction, the relative benefit of medical therapy versus coronary revascularization for reducing ischemia is unknown.
Methods: A prospective randomized trial in 205 stable survivors of acute myocardial infarction was made to define the relative efficacy of an intensive medical therapy strategy versus coronary revascularization for suppressing scintigraphic ischemia as assessed by serial gated adenosine Tc-99m sestamibi myocardial perfusion tomography. All patients at baseline had large total (> or =20%) and ischemic (> or =10%) adenosine-induced left ventricular perfusion defects and an ejection fraction > or =35%. Imaging was performed during 1 to 10 days of hospital admission and repeated in an identical fashion after optimization of therapy. Patients randomized to either strategy had similar baseline demographic and scintigraphic characteristics.
Results: Both intensive medical therapy and coronary revascularization induced significant but comparable reductions in total (-16.2 +/- 10% vs. -17.8 +/- 12%; p = NS) and ischemic (-15 +/- 9% vs. -16.2 +/- 9%; p = NS) perfusion defect sizes. Likewise, a similar percentage of patients randomized to medical therapy versus coronary revascularization had suppression of adenosine-induced ischemia (80% vs. 81%; p = NS).
Conclusions: Sequential adenosine sestamibi myocardial perfusion tomography can effectively monitor changes in scintigraphic ischemia after anti-ischemic medical or coronary revascularization therapy. A strategy of intensive medical therapy is comparable to coronary revascularization for suppressing ischemia in stable patients after acute infarction who have preserved LV function.