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Posts Tagged ‘europcr’

No reflow is the terminology used primarily in cath labs where, even  after a successful opening and stenting  of a coronary artery the coronary blood flow is not  restored to myocardium . The point to be emphazised here is blood do cross  successfully the site of  the obstruction but fails to enter the muscle segment  to which the coronary artery is supplying. So the paradoxical situation of artery  being open but the  myocardium is closed to receive  blood flow  happens . This is termed as no -reflow.  Actually it is a  misnomer , and  ideally it should be called “no flow” because  normal distal flow  does not  occur (After PCI)  in the first instance  to get interrupted  later on  and be labeled as  no re-flow.  .The only positive effect of PCI in these situation is blood flow would have improved by few centimeters ie till it reaches  but falls short of myocardium . In fact no reflow , can be termed as  glorified and concealed  terminology  for  PCI failure . It needs urgent action . No reflow is also called as myocardial epicardial dissociation.

Mechanism of no reflow.

Curious case of open coronary artery and closed myocardium !

Coronary  microvascular plugging  is mainly  due to thrombus and atheromatous debri , myocardial  edema , microvascular spasm may also contribute.

Where can it occur ?

  • First described in cath lab, especially following primary angioplasty.
  • It can very  well happen following thrombolysis in STEMI.
  • Can occur in venous grafts.

How do you recognise no reflow?

In cath lab it will be self evident from the check angiogram. Some times it is less obvious and may  require, myocardial  blush score, TIMI frame  count, contrast echocardiography, PET scan etc. In post MI a very simple method to recognise this entity could be the observation of persistent ST elevation in ECG .

Treatment.

Extremely difficult. Almost every coronary vasodilator has been tried.(Nitrates, nicorandil, calcium blockers, etc).Success is less than 30%.  High pressure flushing with saline inside the coronary artery is advocated by some.Others believe it’s dangerous to do it. So prevention is the key. Avoid doing PCI in complex, thrombotic lesions. Use thrombus suction device like export catheter(Medtronic). Distal protective devices are double edged devices , useful only in experienced hands.

Unanswered question

What is the size of the particle (thrombotic and atheromatous  debri)  the   coronary microcirculation safely handle and push it into the coronary venous circulation and the coronary sinus for disposal ?

If we can lyse the thrombus into micro particles by some mechanism and make it traverse the coronary circulation this complication of microvascular  plugging can be treated and prevented .

What is the final message ?

  • No reflow is relatively common condition during emergency PCI done for ACS patients
  • More common in complex thrombotic lesions.
  • Can also  occur in STEMI
  • Treatment is often vexing . In fact the treatment of this condition is so difficult , it can be termed  almost synonymously with “Failed PCI” if flow is not restored.
  • Successful treatment of no- reflow  means not momentry restoration of  myocardial flow  by mechanical and pharmacological modalities ,but to maintain sustained myocardial   perfusion. This we realise, as patients who have had a no reflow during  a PCI, do not perform as well in the follow up  .
  • So prevention is the key.

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There are numerous complex grading for bifurcation lesions available.

The one proposed by Medina is simple and most useful.

In this grading three segments

  • Proximal main vessel
  • Distal main vessel
  • Branch vessel

Are given a code 0, and 1 if  lesion is present or absent .

This grading gives simple and fast method to label a bifurcatiuon lesion and to asssess the response to PCI. The only issue here is the individual  lesions are not graded , for example branch vessel ostium just involved about 20 % is not addressed . Further TIMI flow in these vessels may also be incorporated

How medina grading can be used to assess effectiveness of

angioplasty  ?

A patient with 1.1.1  after the treatment should revert back to 0.0.0.  if converted into 0.0.(.5) may indicate a residual side branch lesion  .5 shall indicate 50% residual lesion, .3 , 30% etc

 

What is the best management strategy for bifurcation lesions?

The topic has been discussed extensively for over a decade in various forums.

Though the lesions and intervention techniques  appear complex the basic concept is simple.

Following is the 8 point algorithm

1. Assess the bifurcation lesion accurately.

2. Apply the general rule and ask the first question whether PCI is neccessary at all ? if decided for PCI

3. Stent the main vessel.Protect the side branch.  

4. Dilate the side branch with a balloon.(KIss or through the struts) 

5. Very rarely,  if the side vessel is more significant and large  stent it and balloon the main vessel.

6. Use drug eluting stents with caution .

7. Resist the temptation of using two stents unless the situation demands and is absolutely required.

8. Never attempt to do bifurcation angioplasty during ACS as apart of primary angioplasty.( Unless you’re extremely competent, even then aim of primary PCI is to salvage myocarium quickly , not to provide TIMI 3 flow in non IRA vessel.)

Dr.S.Venkatesan.Madras medical college.Chennai.

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                                                          Left main coronary  lesions are  fairly common  during routine coronary angiogram.These may be a critical or a innocuous lesion.The  word “left main” triggers a sort of alarm reaction to many cath lab staff as well as the cardiologists and surgeon.Many times, these left main lesions are detected in patients   with chronic stable angina who have stable symptoms. Left main disese has not been graded  clearly in literature . Often it is perceived , any lesion in LM is serious.

There is an unwritten rule,  rather a medical compulsion  to take a patient  with left main disease  for emergency CABG ( Now some centres ,emergency PCI) .Some institutions make it  a rule these patients  are posted  in the  next available slot in the theatre.

 The basic question we raise here is   “Should we consider all  left main  disease  as  an  emergency”?

Not really , especially when it occurs in a stable angina .One can wait , buy some time to fully evaluate and prepare  the patient  and may be the patient can be posted  as an elective case. It is a well recognised fact that, CABG carries adverse outcome when done as an emergency procedure. This is primarily due to inadequate pre op work up and resultant complications. It is also well known ,  surgical  back up team may not be available in full strength in odd hours .

This post is  to convey the message , that left main is  a serious disease but that doesn’t  mean it should elicit  a panic reaction and be taken as an ultra emergency . There has been many morbid and fatal outcomes in many hospitals due to this apparent  pseudo emergency !

 

Note* 1.Left main  disease during acute coronary syndrome is to be seen in different perspective.2.Some of the proximal LAD lesions are so tight and  could be more significant than left main lesions.

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                                   ACS   is the  most common cardiac emergency .  Management of STEMI is relatively straight forward.  The  only decision that to be taken is the  modality of reperfusion. (Primary PCI   or thrombolysis.) There is no need to risk stratify  STEMI on arrival. All STEMI patients are considered high risk on admission. Whereas  NSTEMI consists of  a heterogeneous  population. They need to be   triaged into low intermediate  or high risk categorizes on arrival.There is two management  approaches for unstable angina .All high risk UA should enter early invasive strategy . And low risk and intermediate risk group will get early conservative management. 

                                       The principle of management of  UA differ from STEMI in a fundamental way , as there is no issue of myocardial salvage in UA .The primary aim is to provide relief from pain and prevent an MI. So in the strict sense there is no time window in unstable angina /NSTEMI.

 

                                       But it is generally considered 48 hours is the time limit for an early invasive approach.If the patient has crossed this time there is apparently no great difference in outcome for conservative and invasive approach. 

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