Anatomic distribution of culprit lesions in patients with non-STsegment elevation myocardial infarction and normal ECG

Abdelmoniem Moustafa, Bernard Abi-Saleh, Mohammad El-Baba, Omar Hamoui, Wael AlJaroudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: In patients presenting with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery and three-vessel disease are the most commonly encountered culprit lesions in the presence of ST depression, while one third of patients with left circumflex (LCX) artery related infarction have normal ECG. We sought to determine the predictors of presence of culprit lesion in NSTEMI patients based on ECG, echocardiographic, and clinical characteristics. Methods: Patients admitted to the coronary care unit with the diagnosis of NSTEMI between June 2012 and December 2013 were retrospectively identified. Admission ECG was interpreted by an electrophysiologist that was blinded to the result of the coronary angiogram. Patients were dichotomized into either normal or abnormal ECG group. The primary endpoint was presence of culprit lesion. Secondary endpoints included length of stay, re-hospitalization within 60 days, and in-hospital mortality. Results: A total of 118 patients that were identified; 47 with normal and 71 with abnormal ECG. At least one culprit lesion was identified in 101 patients (86%), and significantly more among those with abnormal ECG (91.5% vs. 76.6%, P=0.041).The LAD was the most frequently detected culprit lesion in both groups. There was a higher incidence of two and three-vessel disease in the abnormal ECG group (P=0.041).On the other hand, there was a trend of higher LCX involvement (25% vs. 13.8%, P=0.18) and more normal coronary arteries in the normal ECG group (23.4% vs. 8.5%, P=0.041). On multivariate analysis, prior history of coronary artery disease (CAD) [odds ratio (OR) 6.4 (0.8-52)], male gender [OR 5.0 (1.5-17)], and abnormal admission ECG [OR 3.6 (1.12-12)], were independent predictors of a culprit lesion. There was no difference in secondary endpoints between those with normal and abnormal ECG. Conclusions: Among patients presenting with NSTEMI, prior history of CAD, male gender and abnormal admission ECG were independent predictors of a culprit lesion. An abnormal ECG was significantly associated with two and three-vessel disease, while normal ECG was more associated with LCX involvement or normal angiogram. Admission ECG did not impact secondary outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalCardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Culprit lesion
  • Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI)
  • Normal ECG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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