Background: Recent data suggest that the risk of acquired ventricular septal defect (VSD), a complication of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), could be reduced using thrombolytic therapy. There are, however, still no available data regarding the potential impact of primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) on AMI-related VSD in a clinical setting. The purposes of this study were to delineate the incidence and the potential risk factors of AMI-related VSD in the Chinese population, and to determine whether primary PCI could reduce such risk.
Methods and results: From May 1993 through March 2003, a total of 1,321 patients with AMI (for < 12 h) underwent primary PCI in our hospital. Of these 1,321 patients, 3 patients (0.23%) developed VSD after undergoing a primary PCI, with a mean (± SD) time of occurrence of 25.3 ± 12.2 h. During the same period, a total of 616 consecutive, unselected patients with early AMI [ie, > 12 h and ≤ 7 days] or recent myocardial infarction (MI) [ie, ≥ 8 days and < 30 days] who had not received thrombolytic therapy underwent elective PCI. Of these 616 patients, 18 (2.9%) had VSD either on presentation or during hospitalization, with a mean time of occurrence of 71.1 ± 64.2 h. Clinical variables were utilized to statistically analyze the potential risk factors. Univariate analysis demonstrated that the enrollment variables strongly related to this complication were advanced age, hypertension, nonsmokers, anterior infarction, female gender, and lower body mass index (BMI) [all p < 0.005]. Using multiple stepwise logistic regression analysis, the only variables independently related to VSD were advanced age, female gender, anterior infarction, and low BMI (all p < 0.05). The in-hospital mortality rate was significantly higher in patients with this complication than in patients without this complication (47.6% vs 8.0%; p < 0.0001). The incidence of this complication was significantly lower in patients with AMI who underwent primary PCI than in those with early or recent MI who underwent elective PCI (3.0% vs 0.23%, respectively; p = 0.0001).
Conclusion: Primary PCI had a striking impact on reducing the incidence of VSD after AMI compared to elective PCI in patients who did not receive thrombolytic therapy. Advanced age, female gender, anterior infarction, and low BMI had potentially increased the risk of this catastrophic complication after AMI in this Chinese population.