Evolution of Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction After Acute Myocardial InfarctionCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
Implications for Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Eligibility
Background—Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy improves survival in patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Although the risk of sudden cardiac death is highest in the first month after AMI, there is no survival benefit of early implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation, and the optimal time frame has yet to be established. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate what proportion of post-AMI patients had improved LV function to such an extent that the indication for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator was no longer present.
Methods and Results—Patients admitted for AMI with reduced LVEF (≤40%) were eligible for inclusion. Repeat echocardiographic examinations were performed 5 days, 1 month, and 3 months after the AMI. We prospectively included 100 patients with LVEF of 31±5.8% after AMI. At the 1-month follow-up, 55% had an LVEF >35%. The main improvement in LVEF had occurred by 1 month. The mean difference in LVEF over the next 2 months was small, 1.9 percentage units. During the first 9 weeks, 10% of the patients suffered from life-threatening arrhythmias.
Conclusions—Most patients have improved LVEF after AMI, and in the majority, the improvement can be confirmed after 1 month, implying that further delay of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation may not be warranted. Life-threatening arrhythmias occurred in 10% of the patients, illustrating the high risk for sudden cardiac death in this population.
- Received March 9, 2014.
- Accepted June 16, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.