The coronary artery thrombus that causes acute myocardial infarction can be lysed, and reperfusion can be achieved, in the first few hours after infarction. However, the infarct vessel will reocclude in 15–30% of patients, and this event is frequently associated with pain, reinfarction, arrhythmias, or death. The risk of reocclusion is greatest in patients with high‐grade residual stenosis after thrombolysis. Percutaneous coronary an‐gioplasty may be performed safely after thrombolytic therapy. Angioplasty effectively decreases the degree of residual stenosis, and may thereby reduce the risk of reocclusion and consequent ischemic events. However, a substantial proportion of patients with acute infarction are not suitable candidates for angioplasty. Coronary artery bypass surgery has also been safely performed within several days after thrombolytic therapy. Further studies are needed to determine which patients will benefit most from this aggressive approach to acute myocardial infarction.
- coronary artery disease
- myocardial infarction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine