Worsening atrioventricular conduction after hospital discharge in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention: the HORIZONS-AMI trial

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The chronic effects of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) on the atrioventricular conduction (AVC) system have not been elucidated. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence, predictors, and outcomes of worsened AVC post-STEMI in patients treated with a primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Patients and methods

The current analysis included patients from the HORIZONS-AMI trial who underwent primary PCI and had available ECGs. Patients with high-grade atrioventricular block or pacemaker implant at baseline were excluded.


Analysis of ECGs excluding the acute hospitalization period indicated worsened AVC in 131 patients (worsened AVC group) and stable AVC in 2833 patients (stable AVC group). Patients with worsened AVC were older, had a higher frequency of hypertension, diabetes, renal insufficiency, previous coronary artery bypass grafting, and predominant left anterior descending culprit lesions. Predictors of worsened AVC included age, hypertension, and previous history of coronary artery disease. Worsened AVC was associated with an increased rate of all-cause death and major adverse cardiac events (death, myocardial infarction, ischemic target vessel revascularization, and stroke) as well as death or reinfarction at 3 years. On multivariable analysis, worsened AVC remained an independent predictor of all-cause death (hazard ratio: 2.005, confidence interval: 1.051–3.827, P=0.0348) and major adverse cardiac events (hazard ratio 1.542, confidence interval: 1.059–2.244, P=0.0238).


Progression of AVC system disease in patients with STEMI treated with primary PCI is uncommon, occurs primarily in the setting of anterior myocardial infarction, and portends a high risk for death and major adverse cardiac events.

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