A variety of methods for risk stratification after acute myocardial infarction have been successfully employed, however, little attention has been focused on patients who have received reperfusion therapy. The present report examines the utility of dipyridamole thallium scintigraphy in the prediction of late cardiac death or recurrent myocardial infarction in patients who have received thrombolytic therapy. Prospectively, 71 patients who presented with myocardial infarction and were treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (and frequently percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) were enrolled in the study. The primary end points during the follow-up period of nearly 2 years were recurrent infarction or death, which occurred in 10 patients. Although cardiac events were significantly related to either the performance of late myocardial revascularization or the presence of a residual coronary artery stenosis at discharge, no scintigraphic variable was found to be predictive of myocardial infarction or death. Thus, this report is the first to suggest limitation of scintigraphic techniques with regard to prognostic value in myocardial infarction survivors treated with reperfusion techniques. This selected population may have physiologic differences as compared with post-infarction studies performed before the advent of thrombolytic agents. Caution is therefore advised in extrapolating results of earlier reports to the ever increasing percentage of patients receiving recannalization therapy.

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