This study evaluated the relation between patency of the infarct-related artery and the presence of late potentials on the signal-averaged electrocardiogram (ECG) in 124 consecutive patients (98 men, 26 women; mean age 59 years) with acute myocardial infarction receiving thrombolytic therapy, acute percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or standard care. All patients were studied by coronary angiography, measurement of ejection fraction and signal-averaged ECG. The infarct-related artery was closed in 51 patients and open in 73. Among patients with no prior myocardial infarction undergoing early attempted reperfusion therapy, a patent artery was associated with a decreased incidence of late potentials (20% versus 71%; no significant difference in ejection fraction). In the 48 patients receiving thrombolytic agents within 4 h of symptom onset, the incidence of late potentials was 24% and 83% among patients with an open or closed artery, respectively (p < 0.04). The most powerful predictors of late potentials were the presence of a closed infarct-related artery, followed by prior infarction and patient age. Among patients receiving thrombolytic agents within 4 h of symptom onset, the only variable that was predictive of the presence of late potentials was a closed infarct-related artery. These data imply that reperfusion of an infarct-related artery has a beneficial effect on the electrophysiologic substrate for serious ventricular arrhythmias that is independent of change in left ventricular ejection fraction as an index of infarct size. These findings might explain, in part, the low late mortality rate in survivors of myocardial infarction with documented reperfusion of the infarct-related artery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine