Objectives: We examined the prognostic significance of precordial ST segment depression among patients with an acute inferior myocardial infarction.
Background: Although precordial ST segment depression has been associated with a poor prognosis, this correlation has not been adequately quantified, partly because of small sample sizes and methodologic limitations in previous studies.
Methods: We examined the clinical and angiographic outcomes of 16,521 patients with an acute inferior myocardial infarction who underwent thrombolysis in the Global Utilization of Streptokinase and t-PA for Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO-I) study. Patients were classified into those without precordial ST segment depression (n = 6,422 [38.9%]), those with ST segment depression in leads V1 to V3 only (n = 5,850 [35.4%]), those with ST segment depression in leads V4 to V6 only (n = 876 [5.3%]) and those with ST segment depression in both leads V1 to V3 and leads V4 to V6 (n = 3,373 [20.4%]) on initial electrocardiography. Outcome measures included postinfarction complications (second- or third-degree heart block, congestive heart failure or shock) and 30-day and 1-year mortality.
Results: Patients with precordial ST segment depression had larger infarctions, more postinfarction complications and a higher mortality rate than those without precordial ST segment depression (4.7% vs. 3.2% at 30 days; 5.0% vs. 3.4% at 1 year; both p < 0.001), regardless of whether ST segment depression was noted in leads V1 to V6 or in leads V4 to V6. The magnitude of precordial ST segment depression (sum of leads V1 to V6) added significant independent prognostic information after adjustment for clinical risk factors; the risk of 30-day mortality increased by 36% for every 0.5 mV of precordial ST segment depression.
Conclusions: Assessment of the magnitude of precordial ST segment depression is useful for acute risk stratification in patients with an inferior myocardial infarction.