Significance of both negative T waves and stress-induced normalization of the repolarization phase in infarcted patients: A positron-emission-tomography assessment of regulation of myocardial blood flow and viability of myocardium

Assuero Giorgetti, Gianmario Sambuceti, Danilo Neglia, Oreste Sorace, Piero Antonio Salvadori, Oberdan Parodi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The clinical correlation of stress-induced normalization of previously negative T waves (NNTW) to regulation of regional myocardial blood flow (MBF) and tissue viability is still being debated. Objective: To clarify its meaning. Methods: We studied 25 patients, who had previously suffered anterior myocardial infarction and for whom negative T waves were recorded on baseline electrocardiographic precordial leads, by means of positron emission tomography. We obtained MBF in the infarcted myocardial regions under resting conditions for all patients, during infusion of dipyridamole (17 patients) and dobutamine (20 patients), using [13N]-ammonia as a flow tracer. Results: During stress tests, 13 patients exhibited NNTW (group 1) whereas the remaining 12 presented persistent negative T waves (group 2). NNTW was observed in 18 stress studies (for 10 and eight patients during administration of dobutamine and dipyridamole, respectively) whereas persistent negative T waves occurred 19 times (for 10 patients during infusion of dobutamine and nine patients during administration of dipyridamole). A complete concordance of the modifications of the repolarization phase was observed for patients who were subjected both to dipyridamole and to dobutamine studies. Furthermore, we assessed viability of myocardium in 20 of 25 patients using [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose. For the remaining five patients not subjected to metabolic imaging, a coronary reserve of 1.65 was considered a cut-off of viability. Resting MBF for patients in groups 1 and 2 were similar (0.53 ± 0.20 versus 0.47 ± 0.17ml/min per g, respectively, NS) whereas during pharmacological stress, MBF of patients in group 1 was significantly higher than that for patients in group 2 (0.99 ± 0.41 versus 0.56 ± 0.26ml/min per g, respectively, P <0.0001). Coronary vasodilating capability, expressed as stress/resting MBF ratio, turned out to be 1.88 ± 0.49 and 1.16 ± 0.37 for patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively (P <0.0001). We observed no difference in mean exercise work load (9.6 ± 2.80 versus 8.46 ± 2.18min, NS) and rate-pressure product (24 230 ± 6425 versus 24 207 ± 8146mmHg beats/min, NS) at peak for the two categories of patients. All 13 patients in group 1 (100%) had viable myocardium in the anterior infarcted areas whereas only one of 12 patients in group 2 did (9%, P<0.0001 versus group 1). Finally, a subanalysis for the specific pharmacological agent used was performed and it gave similar results. Conclusion: Regardless of the specific stress test able to elicit the electrocardiographic sign, infarcted dysfunctional areas with stress-induced NNTW were demonstrated to have a higher coronary vasodilating capability and a greater probability of viability of myocardium than had persistent negative T wave regions. Therefore, detection of NNTW appears to be a cheap first-line method for the identification both of a better preserved coronary microcirculatory function and of the persistence of viability of myocardium in the infarcted areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
JournalCoronary Artery Disease
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Myocardial infarction
  • Myocardial ischaemia
  • Myocardial viability
  • Negative T waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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