Gender and acute myocardial infarction: is there a different response to thrombolysis?

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1997 Jan;29(1):35-42. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(96)00449-4.


Objectives: This study sought to 1) determine the effect of gender on early and late infarct-related artery patency and reocclusion after thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction; 2) examine the effect of gender on left ventricular function in response to injury/reperfusion; and 3) assess the independent contribution of gender to early (30-day) mortality after acute myocardial infarction.

Background: Women have a higher mortality rate than men after myocardial infarction. However, the effect of gender on infarct-related coronary artery patency and left ventricular response to injury/reperfusion have not been fully defined in the thrombolytic era.

Methods: Patency rates and global and regional left ventricular function were determined in patients at 90 min and 5 to 7 days after thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction. The effect of gender on infarct-related artery patency and left ventricular function was determined. Thirty-day mortality differences between women and men were compared.

Results: Women were significantly older and had more hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, heart failure and shock. They were less likely to have had a previous myocardial infarction, history of smoking or previous bypass surgery. Ninety-minute patency rates (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] flow grade 3) in women and men were 39% and 38%, respectively (p = 0.5). Reocclusion rates were 8.7% in women versus 5.1% in men (p = 0.14). Women had more recurrent ischemia than men (21.4% vs. 17.0%, respectively, p = 0.01). Ninety-minute ejection fraction and regional ventricular function were clinically similar in women and men with TIMI 2 or 3 flow (ejection fraction [mean +/- SD]: 63.4 +/- 6% vs. 59.4 +/- 0.7%, p = 0.02; number of chords: 21.4 +/- 0.9 vs. 21.0 +/- 1.9, p = 0.7; SD/chord: -2.4 +/- 08 vs. -2.4 +/- 0.2, p = 0.9, respectively). No clinically significant differences in left ventricular function were noted at 5- to 7-day follow-up. Women had a greater hyperkinetic response than men in the noninfarct zone (SD/chord: 2.4 +/- 0.2 vs. 1.7 +/- 0.1, p = 0.005). The 30-day mortality rate was 13.1% in women versus 4.8% in men (p < or = 0.0001). After adjustment for other clinical and angiographic variables, gender remained an independent determinant of 30-day mortality.

Conclusions: Women do not differ significantly from men with regard to either early infarct-related artery patency rates or reocclusion after thrombolytic therapy or ventricular functional response to injury/reperfusion. Gender was an independent determinant of 30-day mortality after acute myocardial infarction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heparin / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / epidemiology*
  • Myocardial Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Factors
  • Streptokinase / administration & dosage
  • Survival Rate
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Patency
  • Ventricular Function, Left


  • Heparin
  • Streptokinase
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator