Gibson, C. M., Cannon, C. P., Murphy, S. A., Ryan, K. A., Mesley, R., Marble, S. J., McCabe, C. H., Van De Werf, F., Braunwald, E. Relationship of TIMI myocardial perfusion grade to mortality after administration of thrombolytic drugs Circulation. 2000;101(2):125-30.

BACKGROUND: Although improved epicardial blood flow (as assessed with either TIMI flow grades or TIMI frame count) has been related to reduced mortality after administration of thrombolytic drugs, the relationship of myocardial perfusion (as assessed on the coronary arteriogram) to mortality has not been examined.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A new, simple angiographic method, the TIMI myocardial perfusion (TMP) grade, was used to assess the filling and clearance of contrast in the myocardium in 762 patients in the TIMI (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction) 10B trial, and its relationship to mortality was examined. TMP grade 0 was defined as no apparent tissue-level perfusion (no ground-glass appearance of blush or opacification of the myocardium) in the distribution of the culprit artery; TMP grade 1 indicates presence of myocardial blush but no clearance from the microvasculature (blush or a stain was present on the next injection); TMP grade 2 blush clears slowly (blush is strongly persistent and diminishes minimally or not at all during 3 cardiac cycles of the washout phase); and TMP grade 3 indicates that blush begins to clear during washout (blush is minimally persistent after 3 cardiac cycles of washout). There was a mortality gradient across the TMP grades, with mortality lowest in those patients with TMP grade 3 (2.0%), intermediate in TMP grade 2 (4.4%), and highest in TMP grades 0 and 1 (6.0%; 3-way P=0.05). Even among patients with TIMI grade 3 flow in the epicardial artery, the TMP grades allowed further risk stratification of 30-day mortality: 0.73% for TMP grade 3; 2.9% for TMP grade 2; 5.0% for TMP grade 0 or 1 (P=0.03 for TMP grade 3 versus grades 0, 1, and 2; 3-way P=0.066). TMP grade 3 flow was a multivariate correlate of 30-day mortality (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.12 to 1.02, P=0.054) in a multivariate model that adjusted for the presence of TIMI 3 flow (P=NS), the corrected TIMI frame count (OR 1.02, P=0.06), the presence of an anterior myocardial infarction (OR 2.3, P=0.03), pulse rate on admission (P=NS), female sex (P=NS), and age (OR 1.1, P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Impaired perfusion of the myocardium on coronary arteriography by use of the TMP grade is related to a higher risk of mortality after administration of thrombolytic drugs that is independent of flow in the epicardial artery. Patients with both normal epicardial flow (TIMI grade 3 flow) and normal tissue level perfusion (TMP grade 3) have an extremely low risk of mortality.

Trial: TIMI 10B