Indexed on: 29 Jun '04Published on: 29 Jun '04Published in: The American Journal of Cardiology®
Despite early recanalization of an occluded infarct artery, up to 33% of patients with acute myocardial infarction do not obtain complete myocardial reperfusion due to a process of reperfusion injury. This study assessed whether adjunctive therapy with adenosine might prevent or attenuate the phenomenon of myocardial reperfusion injury. Myocardial reperfusion was assessed in 79 consecutive patients receiving a 20-minute intracoronary infusion of adenosine during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and in a historical cohort of 200 patients with acute myocardial infarction who were treated with PCI (controls). Myocardial reperfusion injury was defined as persistent (> or =50% of initial value) ST-segment elevation after successful recanalization. Its effect on infarct size was evaluated by calculating the Selvester QRS score before intervention and at follow-up. Myocardial reperfusion injury was present in 19% of patients receiving adenosine versus 35% of control patients (p = 0.004). Evaluation of infarct expansion over time showed almost no change in the QRS score in patients receiving adenosine (3.4 +/- 3.0 before PCI; 3.5 +/- 3.1 at follow-up). In contrast, infarct QRS score in the control group worsened from 3.1 +/- 2.7 before PCI to 4.5 +/- 3.2 at follow-up (p = 0.003 treatment with adenosine vs control). Multivariate analysis identified adjunctive therapy with adenosine as an independent protective determinant of myocardial reperfusion injury and of infarct expansion. The rate of major adverse cardiac events (death and myocardial infarction) at 1 month tended to be lower in patients receiving adenosine (4% vs 6.5%, p = 0.7) and was mainly observed in patients with evidence of myocardial reperfusion injury (cardiac event rate 2% in patients with ST-segment elevation of <50% vs 14% in patients with ST-segment elevation > or =50%, p = 0.003). Thus, impaired myocardial reperfusion is the most important determinant of clinical outcome in patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with PCI. Adjunctive therapy with intracoronary infusion of adenosine during PCI prevents the occurrence of severe myocardial reperfusion injury and is associated with less infarct expansion.