Effects of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist eplerenone on cardiac sympathetic nerve activity and left ventricular remodeling after reperfusion therapy in patients with first ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Jul 16. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02733-4. Online ahead of print.


Purpose: The activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system prevents the uptake of norepinephrine and promotes structural remodeling of the heart. The mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA) eplerenone prevents left ventricular (LV) remodeling in patients with acute myocardial infarction, but its influence on cardiac sympathetic nerve activity (CSNA) has not been determined.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the first ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients in our database who underwent 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy 3 weeks after admission. Eighty-four STEMI patients after primary coronary angioplasty were selected, and used propensity score matching to compare patients who treated with MRA (N = 42), and those who did not (N = 42). The LV end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, and ejection fraction were determined by echocardiography, and plasma procollagen type III amino terminal peptide (PIIINP) was measured before and 3 weeks after treatment. The delayed total defect score (TDS), delayed heart/mediastinum count (H/M) ratio, and washout rate (WR) were determined using 123I-MIBG scintigraphy after 3 weeks.

Results: Following primary angioplasty, age, gender, risk factors, culprit coronary artery, peak serum creatine phosphokinase concentration, and recanalization time were similar in the two groups. However, the MRA group showed significantly lower TDS and WR values (TDS: 22.8 ± 8.1 vs 32.2 ± 11.5, P < 0.005; WR: 31.1 ± 9.0% vs 42.7 ± 9.9%, P < 0.001) and a significantly higher H/M ratio (2.23 ± 0.41 vs 2.03 ± 0.36, P < 0.05) than the non-MRA group. The degree of change in LV parameters, and PIIINP were more favorable in the MRA group than in the non-MRA group. Moreover, multiple linear regression analyses revealed that both WR and not MRA treatment were significant predictor for LV remodeling, along with PIIINP concentrations.

Conclusion: Administration of eplerenone improves CSNA and prevents LV remodeling in patients with a first STEMI.

Keywords: Myocardial infarction; eplerenone; scintigraphy; sympathetic nervous system.