No-reflow after primary percutaneous coronary intervention in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction: an angiographic core laboratory analysis of the TOTAL Trial

EuroIntervention. 2023 Aug 7;19(5):e394-e401. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-23-00112.


Background: The optimal strategy to prevent no-reflow in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is unknown.

Aims: We aimed to examine the effect of thrombectomy on the outcome of no-reflow in key subgroups and the adverse clinical outcomes associated with no-reflow.

Methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of the TOTAL Trial, a randomised trial of 10,732 patients comparing thrombectomy versus PCI alone. This analysis utilised the angiographic data of 1,800 randomly selected patients.

Results: No-reflow was diagnosed in 196 of 1,800 eligible patients (10.9%). No-reflow occurred in 95/891 (10.7%) patients randomised to thrombectomy compared with 101/909 (11.1%) in the PCI-alone arm (odds ratio [OR] 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.71-1.28; p-value=0.76). In the subgroup of patients who underwent direct stenting, those randomised to thrombectomy compared with PCI alone experienced less no-reflow (19/371 [5.1%] vs 21/216 [9.7%], OR 0.50, 95% CI: 0.26-0.96). In patients who did not undergo direct stenting, there was no difference between the groups (64/504 [12.7%] vs 75/686 [10.9%)], OR 1.18, 95% CI: 0.82-1.69; interaction p-value=0.02). No-reflow patients had a significantly increased risk of experiencing the primary composite outcome (cardiovascular death, recurrent myocardial infarction, cardiogenic shock, or NYHA Class IV heart failure) at 1 year (adjusted hazard ratio 1.70, 95% CI: 1.13-2.56; p-value=0.01).

Conclusions: In patients with STEMI treated by PCI, thrombectomy did not reduce no-reflow in all patients but may be synergistic with direct stenting. No-reflow is associated with increased adverse clinical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Angiography / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction* / therapy
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction* / diagnostic imaging
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction* / surgery
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome