Background: Whether angiographic morphology of infarct-related residual stenoses continues to affect prognosis after discharge is not known.
Methods: We studied 175 patients after their myocardial infarction who required nonurgent coronary angioplasty for residual myocardial ischemia. The findings at diagnostic coronary angiography were compared with those before angioplasty (mean of 7 months later). Infarct-related stenoses were classified as complex or smooth. Stenosis progression was defined as >0.5 mm diameter reduction.
Results: One hundred twenty-one (69%) infarct-related stenoses were complex. At restudy, total occlusion was found in 41 (35%) of the infarct-related complex stenoses compared with 7 (13%) smooth stenoses (P = .001). Reocclusion occurred in 16 (55%) of 29 complex infarct-related stenoses with thrombus, compared with 25 (28%) of 88 without thrombus (P = .01). During follow-up, 46 patients (26%) had cardiac events. Of these, 70% had complex lesions at study entry compared with 30% smooth (P < .05).
Conclusions: Residual angiographically complex stenoses after an uncomplicated myocardial infarction are associated with a greater risk of reocclusion and may predispose to coronary events at follow-up.