Characteristics and consequences of myocardial infarction after percutaneous coronary intervention: Insights from the coronary angioplasty versus excisional atherectomy trial (CAVEAT)

Robert A. Harrington, A. Michael Lincoff, Robert M. Califf, David R. Holmes, Lisa G. Berdan, Mary Ann O'Hanesian, Gordon P. Keeler, Kirk N. Garratt, E. Magnus Ohman, Daniel B. Mark, Alice K. Jacobs, Eric J. Topol

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142 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined the results of the Coronary Angioplasty Versus Excisional Atherectomy Trial (CAVEAT) to determine the characteristics and consequences of creatine kinase (CK) and creatine kinase, MB myocardial isoenzyme fraction (CK-MB) elevations after percutaneous coronary intervention. Background. Enzyme elevations after interventional procedures have usually been thought to be without long-term clinical consequences. However, recent preliminary reports have suggested that there are important long-term clinical sequelae in patients with even mild enzyme elevations after coronary procedures. Methods. Patients with new native lesions undergoing coronary intervention at 35 clinical sites were randomized to undergo percutaneous coronary angioplasty (n = 500) or directional coronary atherectomy (n = 512). Cardiac enzyme levels were measured 12 and 24 h after the interventional procedure and when clinically indicated for recurrent myocardial ischemia. Enzyme profiles were analyzed using a ratio that compared the peak enzyme level and the local laboratory upper limit of normal. Standard 12-lead electrocardiograms (ECGs) recorded before and after the procedure were interpreted by two independent readers who had no knowledge of the randomization data. Postprocedural myocardial infarction was defined as the appearance of new Q waves on the ECG, CK-MB levels three or more times the upper limit of normal or a total CK concentration two or more times the upper limit of normal when CK-MB levels were unavailable. Regression models were used to evaluate the predictive significance of a postintervention myocardial infarction with respect to clinical outcomes at 30 days and 1 year. Results. There were 78 myocardial infarctions in the atherectomy group and 34 in the angioplasty group (15.2% vs 6.8%, p = 0.001). Patients with a myocardial infarction more often had a repeat intervention or emergency coronary artery bypass surgery. Hospital length of stay was increased among patients with an infarction, as were mean hospital costs ($17,340.65 vs $11,308.47, p = 0.0003). Postprocedural myocardial infarction was highly predictive of mortality, bypass surgery or repeat intervention within 30 days (p < 0.0001). Conclusions. Myocardial infarction occurred commonly after coronary intervention in CAVEAT and was associated with a worse clinical outcome. Although the incidence of myocardial infarction was higher with atherectomy than with angioplasty, the baseline characteristics and consequences of the infarctions were similar between the treatments with regard to 30-day outcome. Myocardial enzyme elevations after an otherwise successful interventional procedure may identify a population at risk for a future cardiac event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1693-1699
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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