Early patency of the infarct-related artery after myocardial infarction preserves diastolic filling


      A patent infarct-related artery (IRA) following myocardial infarction has been associated with lower mortality, increased systolic function, decreased left ventricular remodeling, and electrical stability. The purpose of this study was to determine whether coronary artery patency early after myocardial infarction is associated with greater early diastolic filling than a closed artery. Radionuclide ventriculograms were performed at a central laboratory on 167 patients who received alteplase for an acute myocardial infarction and had infarct artery patency determined by cardiac catheterization. The peak early filling rate (PEFR) was assessed by 4 different methods: (1) PEFR (EDV/s)—normalized to the end-diastolic volume; (2) PEFR (SV/s)—normalized to the stroke volume; (3) PEFR (ml/s/m2)—an absolute diastolic filling rate; and (4) PEFR (PER)—normalized to the peak ejection rate. Patients with a closed IRA (n = 16, Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] 0 or 1 flow) and patients with an open IRA (n = 151, TIMI 2 or 3 flow) had similar ages, ejection fractions, and cardiac volumes. However, among patients with an occluded IRA, the PEFR was decreased by 12% to 18% by the 4 measures of diastolic filling (3 of 4 methods, p <0.05). PEFR (EDV/s) was 1.69 ± 0.9 in the occluded group versus 2.06 ± 0.4 EDV/s in the open artery group (p = 0.005). By multivariate analysis, IRA patency was an independent predictor of the PEFR by all 4 methods. Early coronary artery patency after an acute myocardial infarction preserves diastolic filling. Improved diastolic function may in part explain part of the long-term benefits of a patent IRA after thrombolytic therapy when there is no documented improvement in the ejection fraction.
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