The American journal of cardiology vol:66 issue:17 pages:1196-8
The incidence of late potentials on the signal-averaged electrocardiogram before and after coronary thrombolysis was studied in 54 patients with an acute myocardial infarction of less than or equal to 5 hours' duration and with an angiographically documented total occlusion of the infarct-related coronary artery on admission. A significant (p = 0.038) 50% relative reduction in the incidence of late potentials was observed in the group of 35 patients who underwent reperfusion: from 16 of 35 (46%) before to 8 of 35 (23%) at 120 minutes after the start of thrombolytic treatment. No significant reduction was seen in the 19 patients in whom thrombolysis was unsuccessful: from 8 of 19 (42%) before to 7 of 19 (37%) afterward. Despite successful recanalization, late potentials persisted or newly developed after thrombolytic therapy in 8 of 54 patients (15%). It is concluded that successful thrombolysis reduces the incidence of late potentials on the signal-averaged electrocardiogram but that the sensitivity and specificity of this finding are not high enough to allow reliable monitoring of coronary reperfusion at the bedside.