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Am J Cardiol. 1990 Nov 15;66(17):1203-7.

Prognostic value of predischarge low-level exercise thallium testing after thrombolytic treatment of acute myocardial infarction.

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Cardiac Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


Low-level exercise thallium testing is useful in identifying the high-risk patient after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). To determine whether this use also applies to patients after thrombolytic treatment of AMI, 64 patients who underwent early thrombolytic therapy for AMI and 107 patients without acute intervention were evaluated. The ability of both the electrocardiogram and thallium tests to predict future events was compared in both groups. After a mean follow-up of 374 days, there were 25 and 32% of cardiac events in the 2 groups, respectively, with versus without acute intervention. These included death, another AMI, coronary artery bypass grafting or angioplasty with 75% of the events occurring in the 3 months after the first infarction. The only significant predictors of outcome were left ventricular cavity dilatation in the intervention group and ST-segment depression and increased lung uptake in the nonintervention group. The sensitivity of exercise thallium was 55% in the intervention group and 81% in the nonintervention group (p less than 0.05). Therefore, in patients having thrombolytic therapy for AMI, nearly half the events after discharge are not predicted by predischarge low-level exercise thallium testing. The relatively weak correlation of outcome with unmasking ischemia in the laboratory before discharge may be due to an unstable coronary lesion or rapid progression of disease after the test. Tests considered useful for prognostication after AMI may not necessarily have a similar value if there has been an acute intervention, such as thrombolytic therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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