[Non-invasive evaluation of coronary reperfusion. Analysis of the ST segment before and after thrombolysis in acute myocardial infarct]

A Garini, E Astorri, C Bonifazi, P Pedroni, B M Fadin, R Distante
Minerva Cardioangiologica 1997, 45 (9): 407-14

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the role of the ST segment elevation resolution > 50% between the ECG before and 2 hours after thrombolytic therapy as a predictor of acute myocardial infarction (AMI)-related artery patency, assessed by a coronary angiography performed 1 month after AMI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study enrolled 95 patients, 75 men and 20 women, 58 years mean aged, admitted to the coronary care unit with diagnosis of AMI. Patients were treated with thrombolysis within 6 hours from the onset of chest pain, according to the GUSTO trial.

RESULTS: The findings showed a significant prevalence of ST segment elevation resolution > 50% in inferior AMI (p < 0.01). It has been observed that the ST segment resolution is correlated with lower (p < 0.01) and earlier (p < 0.05) peak in serum creatinekinase (CK) and CK MB release and with less damage of left ventricular ejection fraction assessed by ventriculography (p < 0.01). All these findings indicated a lower extensive myocardial damage. Patients with ST segment resolution presented a prevalence of one or two-coronary vessel disease, with an infarct-related vessel narrowing like that observed in the other patients without ST resolution. Nevertheless a TIMI grade 2 or 3 flow was observed more frequently, but not significantly, in the subjects with ST resolution; a significant prevalence was limited to TIMI 3 grade flow (p < 0.05). In the present study ST segment elevation resolution > 50% represented a highly sensitive and a poor specific predictor of vessel patency in inferior AMI, but with a poor sensitivity and specificity in anterior AMI.

CONCLUSIONS: Personal experience suggested that the thrombolytic therapy has a less favourable effect on the artery patency assessed 1 month after AMI, rather than in the acute phase as reported in previous studies. Dynamic changes of flow or a following worsening in atherosclerotic plaque could be probably responsible of reocclusion of an initially reperfused coronary artery.

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