Ability of the no-reflow phenomenon during an acute myocardial infarction to predict left ventricular dysfunction at one-month follow-up

Am J Cardiol. 1995 Nov 1;76(12):861-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(99)80250-1.


Despite angiographically successful opening of an infarct-related vessel within a 6-hour time frame, some patients do not recover left ventricular regional wall function in the infarct zone after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Recent evidence suggests that this finding is due to the no-reflow phenomenon, or failure to recover tissue perfusion despite patient epicardial arteries. We performed myocardial contrast echocardiography to assess tissue perfusion before and after opening of an infarct-related artery. Coronary angiograms, regional wall motion scoring, and myocardial contrast enhancement were graded by 3 observers. Of 24 patients with AMI, 7 (29%) failed to recover tissue perfusion in > or = 1 region of myocardium. Of 106 regions subtended by the infarct-related artery, 16 (15%), 43 (41%), and 47 (44%) regions had no-reflow, partial, or normal flow, respectively, after arterial patency was established. There was a spectrum of reperfusion patterns ranging from no-reflow to normal perfusion. One-month follow-up angiographic and myocardial contrast echocardiographic studies were performed in 12 of the 24 patients. At 1 month, all segments of myocardium that had immediate normal perfusion had regained normal wall motion. In contrast, 17 segments that had partial or no-reflow were identified. Of these 17, 3 regained normal function, 10 segments were hypokinetic, and 4 segments were akinetic. We conclude that myocardial contrast echocardiography can be used to identify the no-reflow phenomenon in up to 29% of patients with AMI. Additionally, we found that the immediate-reflow pattern can predict degree of left ventricular dysfunction at 1-month follow-up.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology*