Kirtane, A. J., Kosmidou, I., Karmpaliotis, D., Murphy, S. A., Giugliano, R. P., Cannon, C. P., Antman, E. M., Braunwald, E., Gibson, C. M. Association of culprit lesion calcium with angiographic and clinical outcomes in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction treated with fibrinolytic therapy Am J Cardiol. 2005;95(3):337-42.

Coronary artery calcium has been associated with a greater extent of angiographically significant coronary artery stenoses, but the angiographic and clinical outcomes associated with culprit lesion calcium (CLC) have not been fully evaluated, particularly in the stetting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction. We hypothesized that CLC would be associated with adverse angiographic and clinical outcomes in patients who had ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Data were evaluated in 3,292 patients from 6 trials of fibrinolytic therapy for ST-elevation myocardial infarction; 243 culprit lesions (7.4%) were calcified. CLC was associated with advanced age, history of hypertension, previous coronary artery disease, greater extent of disease, angiographically evident residual thrombus, smaller minimum luminal diameter, and larger percent residual stenosis after fibrinolytic therapy. CLC was associated with lower rates of arterial patency after fibrinolytic therapy (63.3% vs 81.3% p <0.001), lower rates of Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction grade 3 flow (41.5% vs 57.2%, p <0.001), and higher (slower) Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction frame counts (52 vs 36 frames, p <0.0001, multivariate p = 0.02). CLC was also associated with increased 30-day mortality rates (6.2% vs 3.4%, p = 0.028) and 30-day rates of death, myocardial infarction, or congestive heart failure (16.5% vs 8.9%, p <0.001) and independently associated with 30-day rates of death, myocardial infarction, or congestive heart failure (odds ratio 1.6, p = 0.016) after multivariate adjustment for baseline clinical and lesion characteristics, epicardial flow, and performance of rescue/adjunctive percutaneous coronary intervention. In a model restricted to patients who had successful restoration of epicardial patency after fibrinolytic therapy, CLC was independently associated with 30-day mortality (odds ratio 2.2, p = 0.045). CLC is independently associated with indexes of poorer epicardial flow and a higher incidence of adverse clinical outcomes after fibrinolytic administration in patients who have ST-elevation myocardial infarction.