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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Apr 17;39(8):1283-9.

Repeated assessment of coronary flow velocity pattern in patients with first acute myocardial infarction.

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Medical Clinic I, University Hospital RWTH, Aachen, Germany.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the coronary blood flow velocity pattern immediately and 24 h after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in relation to myocardial reperfusion and follow-up left ventricular (LV) function.


Analysis of coronary blood flow velocity pattern after AMI may provide information about microvascular damage and the occurrence of a reperfusion injury.


Measurement of coronary blood flow velocity pattern was performed immediately after PTCA and after 24 h in 25 patients with first AMI using a Doppler guidewire. Measurements were related to reperfusion determined by intravenous myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) performed before PTCA and at 24 h and to LV function at four weeks.


Using MCE, 13 patients showed reperfusion and 12 patients showed nonreperfusion. Compared with patients with reperfusion, patients with MCE nonreperfusion had a lower systolic peak flow velocity immediately after PTCA (10.0 +/- 0.3 cm/s vs. 19.3 +/- 0.8 cm/s, respectively) and after 24 h (12.3 +/- 0.4 cm/s vs. 21.3 +/- 0.1 cm/s, respectively, p = 0.0022), more frequent early systolic retrograde flow (6/12 vs. 0/13, p = 0.0052 immediately after PTCA and 24 h later) and a shorter diastolic deceleration time immediately after PTCA (483 +/- 6 ms vs. 737 +/- 0 ms, respectively) and after 24 h (551 +/- 9 ms vs. 823 +/- 2 ms, respectively, p = 0.0091). Similarly, patients with impaired LV function at four weeks had altered coronary flow pattern compared with patients with preserved function. The coronary flow velocity pattern showed a tendency for improvement after 24 h in the reperfusion and the nonreperfusion groups.


The coronary flow velocity pattern immediately and 24 h after PTCA for AMI relates to myocardial perfusion determined by MCE and LV function at four weeks. The flow velocity pattern shows slight improvement during the first 24 h after revascularization, indicating the absence of a major reperfusion injury.

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