Complex stenosis morphology predicts late reocclusion during follow-up after myocardial infarction in patients with patent infarct-related coronary arteries

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Whether angiographic morphology of infarct-related residual stenoses continues to affect prognosis after discharge is not known.


We studied 175 patients after their myocardial infarction who required nonurgent coronary angioplasty for residual myocardial ischemia. The findings at diagnostic coronary angiography were compared with those before angioplasty (mean of 7 months later). Infarct-related stenoses were classified as complex or smooth. Stenosis progression was defined as >0.5 mm diameter reduction.


One hundred twenty-one (69%) infarct-related stenoses were complex. At restudy, total occlusion was found in 41 (35%) of the infarct-related complex stenoses compared with 7 (13%) smooth stenoses (P = .001). Reocclusion occurred in 16 (55%) of 29 complex infarct-related stenoses with thrombus, compared with 25 (28%) of 88 without thrombus (P = .01). During follow-up, 46 patients (26%) had cardiac events. Of these, 70% had complex lesions at study entry compared with 30% smooth (P < .05).


Residual angiographically complex stenoses after an uncomplicated myocardial infarction are associated with a greater risk of reocclusion and may predispose to coronary events at follow-up.

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