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ST-Segment Resolution Prior to Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Is a Poor Indicator of Coronary Artery Patency in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction


  • Conflicts of Interest: None of the authors have any conflict of interest regarding this subject.

  • Funding: None.

Address for correspondence: Robbert J. de Winter, M.D., Ph.D., F.E.S.C., Professor of Clinical Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, B2-137, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, PO Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Fax: 31-20-6962609; E-mail:


Background: The prognostic value of ST-segment resolution (STR) after initiation of reperfusion therapy has been established by various studies conducted in both the thrombolytic and mechanic reperfusion era. However, data regarding the value of STR immediately prior to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to predict infarct-related artery (IRA) patency remain limited. We investigated whether STR prior to primary PCI is a reliable, noninvasive indicator of IRA patency in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).

Methods: The study population consisted of STEMI patients who underwent primary PCI at our institution between 2000 and 2007. STR was analyzed in 12-lead electrocardiograms recorded at first medical contact and immediately prior to primary PCI and defined as complete (≥70%), partial (70%− 30%), or absent (<30%).

Results: In 1253 patients with a complete data set, STR was inversely related to the probability of impaired preprocedural flow (Pfor  trend < 0.001). Although the sensitivity of incomplete (<70%) STR to predict a Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) flow of <3 was 96%, the specificity was 23%, and the negative predictive value of incomplete STR to predict normal coronary flow was only 44%.

Conclusions: This study establishes the correlation between STR prior to primary PCI and preprocedural TIMI flow in STEMI patients treated with primary PCI. However, the negative predictive value of incomplete STR for detection of TIMI-3 flow is only 44% and therefore should not be a criterion to refrain from immediate coronary angiography in STEMI patients.

Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol 2010;15(2):107–115