No reflow has been reported in 12–30% of the patients directly revascularized by angioplasty for acute ST elevation myocardial infarction with the highest incidence after primary stenting in patients with initial thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) grade 0 flow. We hypothesized that a minimalist immediate mechanical intervention (MIMI) based on the use of very small size balloons to avoid both large dissection and distal embolization may be sufficient to restore flow in emergency and that recanalization may be sustained by maximized antithrombotic regimen (abcximab, clopidogrel, aspirin and heparin) allowing one to postpone stenting in better conditions.Methods
MIMI was performed in 93 patients for ST elevation myocardial infarction with initial TIMI grade 0 flow.Results
MIMI resulted in a TIMI grade 3 flow in 77/93 patients (83%). Immediate stenting was performed in the 16 patients with failed MIMI and resulted in a TIMI grade 3 flow in nine (56%). The residual stenosis after MIMI was 81±11% and ST segment resolution (≥50%) at 1 h after reperfusion was obtained in 84%. Stenting was performed the following days in 52 patients with a post-stenting TIMI grade 3 flow in 50 (96%; 100% when stenting done beyond 24 h). No reocclusion occurred between MIMI and stenting. Among the 25 patients without stenting, six had mild stenosis at control angiogram and underwent medical treatment whereas 19 had multiple vessel disease and underwent bypass surgery.Conclusions
MIMI combined with maximized antithrombotic therapy results in immediate and sustained recanalization with a high rate of ST resolution in a majority of patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction. This approach allows one to postpone stenting in more stable conditions with a low rate of TIMI flow deterioration or to schedule more appropriate medical or surgical alternative management.