The presence of preinfarction angina has been shown to exert a favorable effect on left ventricular function after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Whether or not preinfarction angina is beneficial for myocardial tissue reperfusion, however, remains to be determined. We sought to evaluate the influence of preinfarction angina on resolution of ST-segment elevation, which could be affected by microcirculatory damage after recanalization therapy. We studied 96 patients with a first AMI in whom Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI)-3 flow in the infarct-related artery was established by primary angioplasty. Percent reduction in the sum of ST elevation from baseline to 1 hour after angioplasty (percent ΔΣST) was examined. Poor ST resolution, defined as percent ΔΣST <50%, was observed in 25 patients, who had a worse clinical outcome, larger infarct size, and poorer left ventricular function. On multivariate analysis, the absence of preinfarction angina, as well as anterior wall infarction, were major independent predictors of poor ST resolution, whereas age, sex, coronary risk factors, ischemic time, Killip class on admission, multivessel disease, initial TIMI flow grade, and extent of collaterals were not significant. Patients with preinfarction angina had a greater degree of ST-segment resolution than those without angina (71 ± 21% vs 49 ± 43%, p = 0.02). Additional ST elevation after reperfusion was noted exclusively in patients without preinfarction angina (p = 0.02). Preinfarction angina is associated with a greater degree of ST-segment resolution in patients with TIMI-3 flow after primary angioplasty, suggesting a protective effect of preinfarction angina against microcirculatory damage after reperfusion.
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