Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the value of the electrocardiogram in predicting the patency of the left anterior descending artery and left ventricular ejection fraction in patients with a first acute anterior wall myocardial infarction at discharge from the coronary care unit.
Method: We included 116 consecutive patients with an acute anterior myocardial infarction who had undergone coronary angiography and left ventriculography before discharge from the coronary care unit (7th to 10th day). The ST segment, either elevated or isoelectric (< 1 mm), and the T wave (positive or negative) in precordial leads V2-V4 were analysed and compared to the TIMI flow from each patient.
Results: Out of 69 patients with negative T waves, 38 (55%) had TIMI flow 3 compared with 20 (29%) and 11 (16%) with TIMI flow 2 and 0-1, respectively; and out of 47 patients with positive T waves seven (15%) had TIMI flow 3, 17 (36%) TIMI flow 2 and 23 (49%) TIMI flow 0-1 (P < 0.001). Out of 63 patients with an isoelectric ST segment, 35 (55%) had TIMI flow 3, 18 (29%) TIMI flow 2 and 10 (16%) TIMI flow 0-1, and out of 53 with ST segment elevation, 10 (19%) had TIMI flow 3, 19 (36%) TIMI flow 2 and 24 (45%) TIMI flow 0-1 (P < 0.001). When both parameters were analysed together, we found that in 46 patients with both isoelectric ST segments and negative T waves, 30 (65%) had TIMI flow 3 compared with two of 30 (7%) patients with ST segment elevation and positive T waves (P < 0.001). Patients with isoelectric ST segments had a better degree of left ventricular ejection fraction (57.8 +/- 14.1%) than patients with ST segment elevation (41.7 +/- 13%) (P < 0.001). Patients with positive and negative T waves had a similar left ventricular ejection fraction (49 +/- 18.1% vs 51 +/- 14%).
Conclusion: We concluded that patients with a first acute anterior myocardial infarction and an electrocardiogram pattern of an isoelectric ST segment and a negative T wave have a higher incidence of a patent left anterior descending coronary artery than similar patients with ST segment elevation and a positive T wave. An isoelectric ST segment is also related to better left ventricular function.