- Although coronary artery disease remains the leading cause of death in industrialized countries, the management of patients recovering from acute myocardial infarction varies significantly. The issue of routine arteriography and revascularization following thrombolytic therapy remains controversial despite substantial evidence associating infarct-related artery patency with improved cardiac function and survival. Randomized trials of routine intervention after myocardial infarction have generally failed to demonstrate advantages of this invasive approach but methodological problems limit their application to current practice. High-risk patients should be referred for arteriography. While awaiting definitive trials addressing the influence of routine arteriography on patient survival and its cost effectiveness, the management of other patient groups must be individualized.