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Clinical Investigations: CARDIOLOGY |

Effect of Primary Angioplasty on Total or Subtotal Left Main Occlusion*: Analysis of Incidence, Clinical Features, Outcomes, and Prognostic Determinants

Hon-Kan Yip, MD; Chiung-Jen Wu, MD; Mien-Cheng Chen, MD; Hsueh-Wen Chang, PhD; Kelvin Yuan-Kai Hsieh, MD; Chi-Ling Hang, MD; Morgan Fu, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Division of Cardiology (Drs. Yip, Wu, Chen, Hsieh, Hang, and Fu), Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung; and Department of Biological Sciences (Dr. Chang), National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Correspondence to: Morgan Fu, MD, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, 123, Ta Pei Rd, Niao Sung Hsiang, Kaohsiung Hsien, 83301, Taiwan, Republic of China



Chest. 2001;120(4):1212-1217. doi:10.1378/chest.120.4.1212
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Background: Although acute left main coronary artery (LMCA) occlusion is a rare clinical entity, it carries a very high mortality rate. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the effect of primary angioplasty for a severely obstructed or totally occluded LMCA, and to determine the incidence, clinical features, outcome, and prognostic determinants in this clinical setting.

Materials and methods: Between May 1993 and July 2000, a total of 740 patients with acute myocardial infarction underwent primary angioplasty in our hospital. Eighteen of 740 patients (2.4%) with a severely obstructed or totally occluded LMCA constituted the population of this study.

Results: Seventeen of 18 patients (94.4%) experienced pulmonary edema (including 14 patients in cardiogenic shock). Six patients (33.3%) sustained sudden death due to malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Coronary angiography showed that there were variable grade flow of intercoronary collaterals in 12 patients (66.7%), a totally occluded LMCA in 8 patients (44.4%), an incompletely occluded LMCA in 10 patients (55.6%), and a dominant right coronary artery (RCA) in 16 patients (88.9%). Primary angioplasty of the LMCA was performed with a 72.2% procedural success rate. Four patients (22.2%) received coronary artery bypass surgery after angioplasty. Six patients (33.3%) died in the hospital. Two patients died after discharge. Ten of 18 patients (55.6%) survived in long-term follow-up (mean ± SD, 44 ± 14 months). Those patients who survived to be discharged had significantly higher combined coexisting incidence of intercoronary collaterals, dominant RCA, and incompletely occluded LMCA (100% vs 0.0%, p = 0.0006) than those patients who died in the hospital.

Conclusions: Acute obstructive LMCA disease generally presented as pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, or sudden death. Only those who had combined coexistence of intercoronary collaterals, a dominant RCA, and an incompletely occluded LMCA could survive to be discharged. Our experience suggests that primary LMCA angioplasty is a feasible and effective procedure, and it may save lives in this clinical setting.

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angioplasty

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