Background: There are several new strategies proposed to improve the outcome of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). One approach is the resurgent use of facilitated percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Until recently, deciding whether immediate PCI after combined treatment (facilitated PCI) is more appropriate than delayed PCI (short time) has not been investigated. The aim of this study, therefore, was to investigate the outcomes in patients initially successfully treated pharmacologically and immediate PCI < 2 hr, and in patients initially successfully treated with pharmacological therapy and with delayed PCI (12–72 h).Methods: 451 reperfused STEMI patients, aged 18 to 75 years, class I–II Killip, with an acceptable echocardiographic window and admitted within 12 hs of the onset of symptoms were randomized into two groups. All patients had to have successful reperfusion, to receive the combination of a standard tirofiban infusion or abciximab plus half dose rtPA. Thereafter, patients were sub-grouped as follows:group 1 (immediate PCI) patients had PCI within 2 h; and group 2 (delayed PCI) patients in which PCI was performed after 12 hs and within 72 hs.Results: The 225 reperfused (immediate-PCI) and 226 reperfused (delayed-PCI) patients (time from randomization to PCI 165 ± 37 min in immediate PCI versus 45.1 ± 20.2 h in delayed PCI group) showed similar results in ejection fraction, CK release and patency of the IRA. In addition, the delayed PCI group showed a significant reduction in ischemic events, restenosis and bleedings (P = 0.005, 0.01, 0.01 respectively) and significant reduced angiographic evidence of thrombus formation in the infarction-related artery (IRA) (p = 0.001).Conclusion: Our data suggest the safety and possible use of delayed facilitated PCI in patients with STEMI, and that delayed PCI in patients treated with combined lytic and IIb/IIIa inhibitors appears to be as effective and possibly superior (reduced ischemic events and repeat PCI) as immediate PCI. The patients in this study were successfully reperfused, with TIMI-3 flow and our data may not apply to patients with TIMI 0–2 flow. This strategy could allow transferring the reperfused patients and performing PCI after hours < 72 hours and not immediately, thereby reducing the number of urgent PCI and costs, obtaining similar results, but mostly causing less discomfort to the patient. Our results had to be interpreted with caution, because current guidelines do not recommend the combined therapy, but suggest further studies.
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine