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Change in ST segment elevation 60 minutes after thrombolytic initiation predicts clinical outcome as accurately as later electrocardiographic changes
  1. I F Purcell,
  2. N Newall,
  3. M Farrer
  1. Department of Cardiology, Sunderland District General Hospital, Sunderland, UK
  1. Dr Farrer, Department of Cardiology (Ward B22 office), Sunderland District General Hospital, Kayll Road, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR4 7TP, UK.


Objective To compare prospectively the prognostic accuracy of a 50% decrease in ST segment elevation on standard 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) recorded at 60, 90, and 180 minutes after thrombolysis initiation in acute myocardial infarction.

Design Consecutive sample prospective cohort study.

Setting A single coronary care unit in the north of England.

Patients 190 consecutive patients receiving thrombolysis for first acute myocardial infarction.

Interventions Thrombolysis at baseline.

Main outcome measures Cardiac mortality and left ventricular size and function assessed 36 days later.

Results Failure of ST segment elevation to resolve by 50% in the single lead of maximum ST elevation or the sum ST elevation of all infarct related ECG leads at each of the times studied was associated with a significantly higher mortality, larger left ventricular volume, and lower ejection fraction. There was some variation according to infarct site with only the 60 minute ECG predicting mortality after inferior myocardial infarction and only in anterior myocardial infarction was persistent ST elevation associated with worse left ventricular function. The analysis of the lead of maximum ST elevation at 60 minutes from thrombolysis performed as well as later ECGs in receiver operating characteristic curves for predicting clinical outcome.

Conclusion The standard 12-lead ECG at 60 minutes predicts clinical outcome as accurately as later ECGs after thrombolysis for first acute myocardial infarction.

  • myocardial infarction
  • thrombolysis
  • ST segment elevation

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