Progressive left ventricular dysfunction and remodeling after myocardial infarction. Potential mechanisms and early predictors.
BACKGROUND Left ventricular enlargement and the development of chronic heart failure are potent predictors of survival in patients after myocardial infarction. Prospective studies relating progressive ventricular enlargement in individual patients to global and regional cardiac dysfunction and the onset of late chronic heart failure are not available. It was the aim of this study to define the relation between left ventricular dilatation and global and regional cardiac dysfunction and to identify early predictors of enlargement and chronic heart failure in patients after myocardial infarction.
METHODS AND RESULTS Left ventricular volumes, regional area shrinkage fraction in 18 predefined sectors (gated single photon emission computed tomography), global ejection fraction, and hemodynamics at rest and during exercise (supine bicycle, 50 W, 4 minutes, Swan-Ganz catheter) were assessed prospectively 4 days, 4 weeks, 6 months, and 1.5 and 3 years after first myocardial infarction. Seventy patients were assigned to groups with progressive, limited, or no dilatation. Patients without dilatation (n = 38) maintained normal volumes and hemodynamics until 3 years. With limited dilatation (n = 18), left ventricular volume increased up to 4 weeks after infarction and stabilized thereafter; depressed stroke volume was restored 4 weeks after infarction and then remained stable at rest. Wedge pressure during exercise, however, progressively increased. With progressive dilatation (n = 14), depressed cardiac and stroke indexes were also restored by 4 weeks but progressively deteriorated thereafter. Area shrinkage fraction as an estimate of regional left ventricular function in normokinetic sectors at 4 days gradually deteriorated during 3 years, but hypokinetic and dyskinetic sectors remained unchanged. Global ejection fraction fell after 1.5 years, whereas right atrial pressure, wedge pressure, and systemic vascular resistance increased. By multivariate analysis, ejection fraction and stroke index at 4 days, ventriculographic infarct size, infarct location, and Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction trial grade of infarct artery perfusion were significant predictors of progressive ventricular enlargement and chronic dysfunction.
CONCLUSIONS Almost 26% of patients may develop limited left ventricular dilatation within 4 weeks after first infarction, which helps to restore cardiac index and stroke index at rest and to preserve exercise performance and therefore remains compensatory. A somewhat smaller group (20%) develops progressive structural left ventricular dilatation, which is compensatory at first, then progresses to noncompensatory dilatation, and finally results in severe global left ventricular dysfunction. In these patients, depression of global ejection fraction probably results from impairment of function of initially normally contracting myocardium. Early predictors from multivariate analysis allow identification of patients at high risk for progressive left ventricular dilatation and chronic ventricular dysfunction within 4 weeks after acute infarction.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association