A randomized prospective clinical trial compared combined treatment with intraaortic balloon pumping and intravenous nitroglycerin for 4 to 5 days with routine clinical management in 20 patients with extensive myocardium at risk for infarction as evidenced by a thallium defect score of 7.0 units or greater. No significant differences in mortality or clinical outcome were observed between the 10 patients receiving the combined treatment and the 10 receiving routine management. In 14 patients two-dimensional echocardiograms obtained 6 to 24 hours after the onset of symptoms and at follow-up 6 to 16 days later (after completion of combined intraaortic balloon pumping plus nitroglycerin therapy) were analyzed to determine whether infarct segment or noninfarct segment lengths were affected by therapy. Among these 14 patients, 5 (3 receiving the combined therapy and 2 receiving routine management) demonstrated an increase in infarct segment length of greater than 1.0 cm. Mean infarct segment length increased 0.30 ± 0.44 cm in patients receiving the combined therapy and 0.29 ± 0.36 cm in patients on routine management (p = NS). In contrast, noninfarct segment length increased greater than 1.0 cm (mean increase 1.20 ± 0.39) in five of seven patients on routine management but in none of 7 patients receiving intraaortic balloon pumping plus nitroglycerin therapy (mean decrease 0.22 ± 0.20 cm) (p < 0.05). No significant differences were noted in left ventricular ejection fraction, as measured by gated blood pool scintigraphy, or thallium perfusion defect score in a comparison of day 1 (pretreatment) with day 4 thallium or day 7 to 14 gated blood pool scintigrams. Thus, in patients with extensive myocardium at risk, it is unlikely that a reduction in mortality or a significant improvement in myocardial perfusion or ventricular function can be obtained by early intervention with intraaortic balloon pumping in combination with nitroglycerin. Although this combined therapy failed to prevent infarct segment lengthening (infarct expansion), the combined afterload-lowering effects of intraaortic balloon pumping and nitroglycerin did appear to prevent dilation or remodeling of noninfarcted segments during the first 2 weeks after acute myocardial infarction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine