Prognosis and Management of Anterolateral Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Severe Left Main Disease and Cardiogenic Shock The Left Main Shock Syndrome

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To identify the determinants of survival in patients with severe (>75%) stenosis of the left main coronary artery (LM) and an acute (48 hours) anterolateral myocardial infarction (AAMI), we retrospectively analyzed the course of 34 such patients who presented to our institution over the last decade.

Methods and Results.

LM disease was diagnosed arteriographically at presentation, and AAMI was determined by ECG, enzymatic, and kinetic criteria. Of the nine patients (26%) managed medically, seven patients (78%) were in cardiogenic shock (cardiac index <2.0, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure >25, and pulmonary edema), and all seven died in hospital. Twenty-five (74%) of the 34 patients were managed surgically or with angioplasty. Nine of these patients, of whom eight were in cardiogenic shock, also died in hospital. Regardless of the method of treatment, the presence of cardiogenic shock in this population was reproducibly a grave prognostic indicator. That is, 15 (94%) of the 16 patients in cardiogenic shock at presentation died in hospital, and only 1 (5%) of the 18 patients without cardiogenic shock died (P<.001).


Thus, we propose that, because patients presenting with AAMI, severe LM stenosis, and cardiogenic shock (left main shock syndrome) have such a grave prognosis regardless of management, conservative measures may be indicated. (Circulation.1993;88[part 2]:65–70.)

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