Objectives: We sought to examine the hypothesis that rapid resolution of ST-segment elevation in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients with early peak creatine kinase (CK) after thrombolytic therapy differentiates among patients with early recanalization between those with and those without adequate tissue (myocardial) reperfusion.
Background: Early recanalization of the epicardial infarct-related artery (IRA) during AMI does not ensure adequate reperfusion on the myocardial level. While early peak CK after thrombolysis results from early and abrupt restoration of the coronary flow to the infarcted area, rapid ST-segment resolution, which is another clinical marker of successful reperfusion, reflects changes of the myocardial tissue itself.
Methods: We compared the clinical and the angiographic results of 162 AMI patients with early peak CK (< or =12 h) after thrombolytic therapy with (group A) and without (group B) concomitant rapid resolution of ST-segment elevation.
Results: Patients in groups A and B had similar patency rates of the IRA on angiography (anterior infarction: 93% vs. 93%; inferior infarction: 89% vs. 77%). Nevertheless, group A versus B patients had lower peak CK (anterior infarction: 1,083+/-585 IU/ml vs. 1,950+/-1,216, p < 0.01; and inferior infarction: 940+/-750 IU/ml vs. 1,350+/-820, p=0.18) and better left ventricular ejection fraction (anterior infarction: 49+/-8, vs. 44+/-8, p < 0.01; inferior infarction: 56+/-12 vs. 51+/-10, p=0.1). In a 2-year follow-up, group A as compared with group B patients had a lower rate of congestive heart failure (1% vs. 13%, p < 0.01) and mortality (2% vs. 13%, p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Among patients in whom reperfusion appears to have taken place using an early peak CK as a marker, the coexistence of rapid resolution of ST-segment elevation further differentiates among patients with an opened culprit artery between the ones with and without adequate myocardial reperfusion.