Sulfonylureas attenuate electrocardiographic ST-segment elevation during an acute myocardial infarction in diabetics

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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether sulfonylureas attenuate ST-segment elevation in diabetics during acute myocardial infarction (AMI). BACKGROUND: Sulfonylureas block adenosine triphosphate-sensitive potassium channels found in the pancreas and heart. Animal studies have demonstrated that opening of these cardiac channels results in ST-segment elevation during AMI, and pretreatment with sulfonylureas blunts these ST-segment changes. METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of diabetic patients hospitalized with AMI over a four-year period in Framingham, Massachusetts. Electrocardiograms obtained on arrival were analyzed for standard ST-segment criteria for thrombolytic therapy (>1 mm in two or more contiguous leads). Results were compared between the study group (40 patients taking sulfonylureas) and control group (48 patients taking alternative hypoglycemic agent). RESULTS: Demographics were similar for both groups apart from a female preponderance in the study group. A significantly higher percentage of patients in the study group did not meet ST-segment criteria for thrombolytic therapy as compared with the control group (53% vs. 29%, p = 0.02). This difference was most prominent in patients with peak creatinine phosphokinase levels between 500 and 1,000 mg/dl (86% vs. 22%, p = 0.04). The magnitude of ST-segment elevation and the frequency of thrombolytic therapy were significantly lower in the sulfonylurea group than in the control group (1.1 ± 1.0 mm vs. 2.1 ± 2.7 mm, p = 0.02 and 20% vs. 40%, p = 0.04, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Sulfonylurea therapy appears to attenuate the magnitude of ST-segment elevation during an AMI, resulting in failure to meet criteria for thrombolytic therapy and as a consequence leading to inappropriate withholding therapy in this subset of diabetic patients. © 2003 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.




Huizar, J. F., Gonzalez, L. A., Alderman, J., & Smith, H. S. (2003). Sulfonylureas attenuate electrocardiographic ST-segment elevation during an acute myocardial infarction in diabetics. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 42(6), 1017–1021.

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