Revascularization after acute coronary syndromes provides prognostic benefit, provided that the subtended myocardium is viable. The microcirculation and contractility of the subtended myocardium affect propagation of coronary flow, which can be characterized by wave intensity analysis. The study objective was to determine in acute coronary syndromes whether early wave intensity analysis-derived microcirculatory (backward) expansion wave energy predicts late viability, defined by functional recovery.Methods and Results—
Thirty-one patients (58±11 years) were enrolled after non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. Regional left ventricular function and late-gadolinium enhancement were assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, before and 3 months after revascularization. The backward-traveling (microcirculatory) expansion wave was derived from wave intensity analysis of phasic coronary pressure and velocity in the infarct-related artery, whereas mean values were used to calculate hyperemic microvascular resistance. Twelve-hour troponin T, left ventricular ejection fraction, and percentage late-gadolinium enhancement mass were 1.35±1.21 µg/L, 56±11%, and 8.4±6.0%, respectively. The infarct-related artery backward-traveling (microcirculatory) expansion wave was inversely correlated with late-gadolinium enhancement infarct mass (r=–0.81; P<0.0001) and strongly predicted regional left ventricular recovery (r=0.68; P=0.001). By receiver operating characteristic analysis, a backward-traveling (microcirculatory) expansion wave threshold of 2.8 W m–2 s–2×105 predicted functional recovery with sensitivity and specificity of 0.91 and 0.82 (AUC 0.88). Hyperemic microvascular resistance correlated with late-gadolinium enhancement mass (r=0.48; P=0.03) but not left ventricular recovery (r=–0.34; P=0.07).Conclusions—
The microcirculation-derived backward expansion wave is a new index that correlates with the magnitude and location of infarction, which may allow for the prediction of functional myocardial recovery. Coronary wave intensity analysis may facilitate myocardial viability assessment during cardiac catheterization.