About 50% of patients diagnosed with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction have multivessel disease on coronary angiography. Recent evidence has shown that a staged percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) strategy of non-culprit lesions, achieving complete revascularization, significantly reduces the rate of recurrent cardiovascular events compared with a PCI strategy limited to culprit lesion. Although functional evaluation of intermediate coronary stenoses by functional flow reserve (FFR) or instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) is widely used to detect residual myocardial ischaemia, the reliability of the study of non-culprit lesions in the acute phase of heart attack is controversial. On the other hand, the excess of new events in patients with acute coronary syndrome in whom PCI was deferred on the basis of FFR/iFR compared to patients with stable CAD could be due to both an inadequate functional evaluation and an intrinsic higher risk, related to the presence of untreated vulnerable plaques. In this context, intra-coronary imaging has shown that the presence of vulnerability features in non-culprit plaques is associated with an increased rate of ischaemic recurrence.
Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. © The Author(s) 2020.