Early T wave inversion after thrombolytic therapy predicts better coronary perfusion: clinical and angiographic study

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994 Aug;24(2):378-83. doi: 10.1016/0735-1097(94)90291-7.


Objectives: This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that early inversion of T waves after thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction predicts patency of the infarct-related artery with high Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) perfusion flow and better in-hospital outcome.

Background: Although numerous studies have demonstrated a strong association between early resolution of ST segment elevation after acute myocardial infarction and successful thrombolysis, little is known about early changes in T waves after thrombolytic therapy.

Methods: Ninety-four consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rt-PA) were studied with admission and predischarge radionuclide ventriculography and with coronary angiography within 72 h of admission. Patient stratification was based on the presence or absence of early (within 24 h) T wave inversion.

Results: Early T wave inversion was associated with a higher patency rate of the infarct-related artery (90% vs. 65%, p < 0.02) and less severe residual stenosis ([mean +/- SD] 73 +/- 27 vs. 83 +/- 22, p = 0.06), and when only TIMI perfusion grade 3 was considered, the difference was even greater (77% vs. 41%, p < 0.001). Patients with early inversion of T waves had a lower peak creatine kinase value ([mean +/- SD] 678 +/- 480 vs. 1,076 +/- 620, p < 0.01), and although a similar percent of patients with and without early T wave inversion had a normal ejection fraction (> or = 55%) on admission, a higher percent of patients with early inversion had a normal ejection fraction at hospital discharge (71% vs. 44%, p < 0.03). Early T wave inversion anticipated a more benign in-hospital clinical course with a lower incidence of adverse cardiac events (10% vs. 33%, p < 0.02).

Conclusions: Early inversion of T waves in patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with thrombolytic therapy suggests patency of the infarct-related artery, better perfusion grade and left ventricular function and a more benign in-hospital course.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Circulation / drug effects*
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Ventriculography
  • Recurrence
  • Stroke Volume
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / pharmacology
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency / drug effects


  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator