Purpose: We sought to visualize time-dependent necrosis in a ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) population by LGE-CMR.
Methods: STEMI patients with: single-vessel disease, complete occlusion with Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) score 0, absence of collateral flow (Rentrop score 0) and symptom onset <12 hours were consecutively enrolled. By LGE-CMR, area at risk (AAR) and infarct size (IS), myocardial salvage index (MSI), transmurality index, and transmurality grade (0-50%, 51-75%, 76-100%) were determined.
Results: 164 patients (54±11 years, 80% male) were included. Receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC)-curve (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.81) indicating transmural necrosis revealed the best diagnostic cut-off for a symptom-to-balloon time of 121 minutes, i.e. patients with >121 minutes demonstrated increased IS, transmurality index, transmurality grade (all p-values <0.01), and decreased MSI (p<0.001) vs. patients with symptom-to-balloon times =121 minutes.
Conclusions: In myocardial infarction with no residual antegrade, and no collateral flow, immediate reperfusion is vital. A symptom-to-balloon time of >121 minutes causes a high grade of transmural necrosis. In the present, pure STEMI population, time to reperfusion to salvage myocardium was less than suggested by current guidelines.