Objective/Background It has been shown that patients with an acute myocardial infarction and persistent electrocardiographic ST-segment depression are at high risk for subsequent cardiac events. The purpose of this retrospective analysis was to examine the long-term effects of propranolol therapy in patients with their first acute myocardial infarction and persistent electrocardiographic ST-segment depression. Methods The outcomes of 2877 patients enrolled in the Beta-Blocker Heart Attack Trial (BHAT) with their first myocardial infarction (75% of patients in BHAT) were reviewed. Patients were divided into three groups on the basis of presence or absence of ≤1 mm ST-segment depression in two contiguous leads of the 12- lead electrocardiogram obtained soon after admission or at the time of randomization, which occurred 10.1 ± 3.5 days after the index myocardial infarction. Group 1 included 774 patients (392 randomly assigned to placebo and 382 to propranolol) with no ST-segment depression; group 2 included 1447 patients (713 placebo, 734 propranolol) with ST-segment depression at admission or at the time of randomization (labeled as transient); and group 3 included 656 patients (339 placebo and 317 propranolol) who had electrocardiographic ST-segment depression from the time of admission to the time of randomization (labeled as persistent). Results In group 3, patients with persistent electrocardiographic ST depression, the mortality rate in patients randomly assigned to placebo was 13.6% compared with 7.6% in patients with propranolol (p = 0.012; log rank test). Sudden death in the placebo arm was 9.7% compared with 4.7% in the propranolol group (p = 0.012, log rank test). The results of the Cox regression analysis, adjusting for all baseline variables with p values <0.25, showed the relative risk of overall mortality rate and the relative risk of sudden death were 2.13 (1.22, 3.70) and 2.56 (1.27, 5.26), respectively, for the placebo group compared with the propranolol group. Patients with persistent ST-segment depression had the greatest benefit from propranolol (47.2 fewer events [deaths/reinfarctions] per 1000 person-years compared with 7.8 and 2.1 fewer events in patients with transient and no ST-segment depression, respectively). Conclusions It appears that the greatest benefit for β-blocker therapy in patients after myocardial infarction is observed in patients with persistent ST-segment depression who are at greatest risk for death and reinfarction. DeFinitive conclusions regarding therapy with β-adrenergic blocking agents in patients with persistent ST-segment depression cannot be made because our analysis, given its retrospective nature, is only hypothesis generating.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine