Objectives: We assessed the acute effect of intracoronary injection of verapamil on microvascular function after primary percutaneous translumanal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) with myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) in relation to functional outcomes.
Background: Recent clinical studies have documented the potential of verapamil for possible increase in coronary blood flow after primary PTCA.
Methods: Forty patients with a first AMI were randomly assigned to the verapamil group (n = 20) or the control group (n = 20). In the verapamil group, verapamil (0.5 mg) was injected into the infarct-related artery shortly after PTCA, followed by the oral administration. We performed MCE with an intracoronary injection of sonicated microbubbles before and after verapamil. To assess microvascular integrity, we determined the baseline-subtracted peak intensity in the risk area and the ratio of the no reflow zone plus the low reflow zone to the risk area (low reflow ratio). We determined the average wall motion score (dyskinesia/akinesia = 3; normal = 0) in the risk area on the day of AMI and a mean of 24 days later.
Results: The low reflow zone was observed shortly after PTCA in 14 verapamil group patients, and the low reflow ratio decreased after verapamil (0.39 +/- 0.23 vs. 0.29 +/- 0.17 [mean +/- SD], p < 0.05). Peak intensity significantly (p < 0.05) increased from 6 +/- 5 to 12 +/- 6 after verapamil. The reduction in wall motion score from the acute (day -1) to the late stage (day -24) was significantly greater in the verapamil group than in the control group (0.7 +/- 0.8 vs. 0.2 +/- 1.3, respectively, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Intracoronary administration of verapamil after primary PTCA can attenuate microvascular dysfunction and thereby augment myocardial blood flow in patients with AMI, leading to better functional outcome than with PTCA alone.