Non-pharmaco, non-invasive management of coronary no-reflow phenomenon
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Department of Cardiology, LPS Institute of Cardiology, Kanpur, India
Department of Cardiology, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Cardiology, Indore, India
Department of Cardiology, RML Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, India
Submission date: 2020-07-10
Final revision date: 2020-08-14
Acceptance date: 2020-08-30
Publication date: 2020-12-29
Arch Med Sci Atheroscler Dis 2020;5(1):271–278
No-reflow is an infrequent but dreaded complication of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), where the culprit is obstruction of the downstream microvascular bed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of forceful injection of blood (autologous blood transfusion – ABT) in reversing no-reflow during PCI because data regarding its effectiveness is not available.

Material and methods:
100–120 ml of blood was withdrawn through guiding catheter over 3 to 5 min using a 10 ml syringe and re-infused by forceful injection over 3 min through it, and its efficacy was assessed at 10 min using TIMI flow grade and quantitative corrected TIMI frame count.

In total 93 patients received ABT following no-reflow. Their clinical presentation was ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) (n = 61; 65.6%), non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) (n = 23; 24.7%), and unstable angina (n = 9; 9.6%). It was observed among patients undergoing primary PCI (n = 18; 19.3%), pharmaco-invasive PCI (n = 27; 29%), rescue PCI (n = 11; 11.8%), and PCI for cardiogenic shock (n = 5; 5.3%). A mean volume of 108 ±4 ml blood was transfused. Commonest culprit vessel was left anterior descending artery (n = 51; 54.8%) followed by right coronary (n = 29; 31.2%), left circumflex (n = 19; 10.8%), and saphenous vein grafts (n = 3; 3.2%). Following ABT, TIMI 3 flow was successfully restored in 77 (82.7%) patients. TIMI flow grade improved from 1.02 to 2.52 and cTIMI frame count decreased from 60.6 ±12 to 16.1 ±6 (p < 0.001). ABT was well tolerated except transient hypotension (n = 17; 18.3%). Overall mortality was reported in 10 (10.7%) patients at 1 year.

In this largest and only study to date, ABT is a safe and highly effective approach to reverse no-reflow by raising driving pressure across the capillary bed.