Background: Patency of the infarct-related artery (IRA) after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) may not reflect the magnitude of tissue perfusion. In animal models of AMI, myocardial cellular necrosis has been associated with extensive capillary damage. Because myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) can define the spatial distribution of microvascular perfusion, we hypothesized that it could be used in patients after recent AMI to distinguish myocardial regions that have an intact microvasculature and thus are viable from those without an intact microvasculature and thus are not viable. Methods and Results: One hundred five patients with a recent AMI (range, 1 day to 4 weeks; median, 8 days) who were undergoing cardiac catheterization were included in the study. Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed at baseline and repeated 1 month later to assess regional function within the infarct zone (scores of 1 to 5 indicating normal to dyskinetic segments, respectively). MCE was performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory to assess microvascular perfusion within the infarct bed. A contrast score index was derived by assigning scores to individual segments within the infarct zone (0, 0.5, and 1 denoting no, intermediate, and homogeneous contrast effect, respectively) and deriving the average score within the infarct bed. Revascularization was performed as clinically indicated. Although the baseline wall motion score and the contrast score index were similar in the 90 patients with a patent IRA and the 15 patients with an occluded IRA (median±1 interquartile range, 3±1 versus 3.5±1; P=.41), wall motion score 1 month later was significantly better in those with open IRAs compared with those with closed IRAs (2±2 versus 3±2, P=.05). In the 90 patients with an open IRA, a strong correlation was noted between wall motion score 1 month later and the contrast score index (p=-.64, P<.001). On multivariate analysis, the best correlate of the 1-month wall motion score was the contrast score index. Conclusions: In patients studied in the cardiac catheterization laboratory between 1 day and 4 weeks after AMI, an intact microvasculature as identified by MCE indicates myocardial regions that improve function 1 month later. This study demonstrates that microvascular patency is closely associated with myocardial cellular viability after AMI in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)