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Am J Cardiol. 1976 Oct;38(4):407-15.

Serial measurements of left ventricular ejection fraction by radionuclide angiography early and late after myocardial infarction.


The left ventricular ejection fraction was determined serially with radioisotope angiography in 63 patients with acute myocardial infarction. After the peripheral injection of a bolus of technetium-99m, precordial radioactivity was recorded with a gamma scintillation camera and the ejection fraction calculated from the high frequency left ventricular time-activity curve. Since this technique requires no assumptions with respect to left ventricular geometry, it is particularly useful in patients with segmental left ventricular dysfunction. Serial measurements during the first 5 days after hospital admission were made in 50 patients, 30 of whom were studied during the subsequent 2 to 39 months (mean 19.9 months). Late follow-up serial studies were also performed in an additional 13 patients who had only one measurement of the left ventricular ejection fraction during the early postinfarction period. Early after infarction, the left ventricular ejection fraction was normal (more than 0.52) in only 15 of the 63 patients, and averaged 0.52 +/- 0.05 (standard deviation) in the 27 patients with an uncomplicated infarct. The ejection fraction was reduced in 24 patients with mild to moderate left ventricular failure (0.40 +/- 0.05, P less than 0.0001) and in the 12 patients with overt pulmonary edema (0.33 +/- 0.07, P less than 0.0001). In 35 patients the ejection fraction correlated with the mean pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (r = 0.72). In 15 patients with normal left ventricular wall motion by heart motion videotracking, the ejection fraction was significantly higher (0.53 +/- 0.08) than in the 26 patients with regional left ventricular dysfunction (0.41 +/- 0.10, P less than 0.0001). During the early postinfarction period, the left ventricular ejection fraction improved in 55 percent of patients and remained unchanged or decreased in 45 percent. A further increase in the ejection fraction was noted in 61 percent of patients during the late follow-up period. Patients with an initially low or decreasing ejection fraction had a significantly greater incidence of early mortality and left ventricular dysfunction (P less than 0.02) than those whose ejection fraction was normal or improved to normal early after infarction. These data indicate that the ejection fraction is a sensitive indicator of left ventricular function after acute myocardial infarction and that serial measurements are helpful in predicting early mortality and morbidity.

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