Early reperfusion of an infarct-related coronary artery results in myocardial salvage, with subsequent improvement in left ventricular function and survival. However, late reperfusion, which occurs at a time when myocardial salvage is no longer possible, still exerts a favorable impact on left ventricular function and survival. This concept is known as the open-artery hypothesis. Possible mechanisms for this benefit include improved infarct healing, limitation of ventricular remodeling, decreased ventricular arrhythmias, and reperfusion of hibernating myocardium. Although an open infarct-related coronary artery is crucial, it has not been proven that opening an occluded coronary artery using angioplasty is beneficial. A large randomized clinical trial is clearly needed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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