Aims There are limited data about the optimal anti-thrombotic therapy for preventing embolism while minimizing bleeding events in patients with first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) complicated by left ventricular thrombus (LVT). Methods and results Among 2301 consecutive patients with AMI hospitalized between 2001 and 2014, we studied 1850 patients with first AMI who discharged alive to investigate clinical characteristics, incidence of systemic embolism (SE), and association between anticoagulation and embolic or bleeding events. Left ventricular thrombus was diagnosed by echocardiography, left ventriculography, or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in 92 (5.0%) patients (62 ± 12 years). During a median follow-up period of 5.4 years (interquartile range 2.1-9.1 years), SE occurred in 15 of 92 patients with LVT (16.3%) and 51 of 1758 patients without LVT (2.9%), respectively. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significantly higher incidence of SE in the LVT group (log-rank test, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that LVT was an independent predictor of SE. Among the LVT patients treated with vitamin K antagonists (n = 84), we compared the patients with therapeutic range (TTR) ≥50% (n = 34) and those with TTR <50% (n = 50). Only one embolic event developed in the TTR ≥50% group and nine embolic events developed in the TTR <50% group (2.9% vs. 19%, P = 0.036). There was no difference in major bleeding events (TTR ≥50%; 9% vs. TTR <50%; 8%, P = 0.89). Conclusion Appropriate anticoagulation therapy may decrease the incidence of embolic events without increasing the incidence of bleeding events in patients with first AMI complicated by LV thrombus.
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