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Clinical and angiographic characteristics of patients with combined anterior and inferior ST-segment elevation on the initial electrocardiogram during acute myocardial infarction

Saihari Sadanandan, Judith S Hochman, Allen Kolodziej, Douglas A Criger, Alan Ross, Ronald Selvester, Galen S Wagner
American Heart Journal 2003, 146 (4): 653-61
14564319

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the significance of combined anterior and inferior ST-segment elevation on the initial electrocardiogram (EKG) in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and correlated it with AMI size and left ventricular (LV) function.

METHODS: We analyzed admission EKGs of 2996 patients with AMI from the GUSTO-I angiographic substudy and the GUSTO-IIb angioplasty substudy who underwent immediate angiography. In all, we identified 1046 patients with anterior ST elevation (ST-segment elevation in > or =2 of leads V1-V4) and divided them into 3 groups: Group 1, anterior + inferior ST elevation (ST elevation in > or =2 of leads II, III, aVF, n =179); Group 2, anterior ST elevation only (<2 of leads II, III, aVF with ST elevation or depression, n = 447); Group 3, anterior ST elevation + superior ST elevation (ST depression in > or =2 of leads II, III, aVF, n = 420).

RESULTS: Cardiac risk factors, prior AMI, prior percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft, Killip class, and thrombolytic therapy assignment did not differ among the 3 groups. Group 1 patients had greater number of leads with ST elevation compared to Groups 2 and 3 (ST elevation in > or =6 leads 83% vs 22% vs 49%, P =.001). Despite greater ST-segment elevation, Group 1 patients had a lower peak CK level (median baseline peak CK 1370 vs 1670 vs 2381 IU, P =.0001) and less LV dysfunction (median ejection fraction 0.53 vs 0.49 vs 0.45, P =.0001; median number of abnormal chords 21 vs 32 vs 40, P =.0001). Angiographically, Group 1 had 2 distinct subsets of patients with either right coronary artery (RCA) (59%) or left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) (36%) occlusion. In contrast, the infarct-related artery (IRA) was almost entirely the LAD in Groups 2 and 3 (97%). Further, the site of IRA occlusion in Group 1 was mostly proximal RCA (67%) in the RCA subgroup and mid or distal LAD (70%) in the LAD subgroup. ST-segment elevation in lead V1 > or = V3 and absence of progression of ST elevation from lead V1 to V3 on the EKG differentiated IRA-RCA from IRA-LAD in patients with combined anterior and inferior ST elevation.

CONCLUSIONS: The AMI size and LV dysfunction in patients with anterior ST elevation is directly related to the direction of ST segment deviation in the leads II, III, aVF; least with inferior ST elevation, intermediate with no ST deviation, and maximal with superior ST elevation (inferior ST depression). Despite greater ST-segment elevation, patients with combined anterior and inferior ST elevation have limited AMI size and preserved LV function. Angiographically, they comprise 2 distinct subsets with either proximal RCA or mid to distal LAD occlusion. A predominant right ventricular and limited inferior LV AMI from a proximal RCA occlusion, or a smaller anterior AMI from a more distal occlusion of LAD may explain their limited AMI size despite greater ST elevation.

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