AIMS: Previous studies have suggested that intravenous administration of adenosine improves myocardial reperfusion and reduces infarct size in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients. Intracoronary administration of adenosine has shown conflicting results. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a prospective, single-centre, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, we assessed whether selective intracoronary administration of adenosine distal to the occlusion site immediately before initial balloon inflation results in myocardial salvage and decreased microvascular obstruction (MVO) as assessed with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using a combination of T(2)-weighted and contrast-enhanced sequences, myocardial salvage index (MSI) was defined as the percentage of the area at risk that did not become necrotic. We randomized 112 patients presenting with STEMI within 12 h from symptom onset to selective intracoronary administration of adenosine 4 mg or matching placebo. In 100/110 (91%) patients receiving study drug, MRI was performed on Days 2-3. No significant difference in MSI was found between adenosine- and placebo-treated patients: 41.3% (20.8, 66.7) vs. 47.8% (39.8, 60.9) [median (Q1, Q3)] (P = 0.52). The extent of MVO was comparable in both groups, with a trend favouring the placebo group: 2.4 g (0.0, 6.8) vs. 5.9 g (0.0, 12.8) after adenosine (P = 0.07). TIMI flow grade, TIMI frame count, myocardial blush grade, and ST-segment resolution after primary percutaneous coronary intervention were similar between groups. After 4 months, infarct size was similar in both treatment groups. CONCLUSION: We found no evidence that selective high-dose intracoronary administration of adenosine distal to the occlusion site of the culprit lesion in STEMI patients results in incremental myocardial salvage or a decrease in microvascular obstruction.
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