Canadian-American differences in the management of acute coronary syndromes in the GUSTO IIb trial: one-year follow-up of patients without ST-segment elevation. Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO) II Investigators

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Circulation (Impact Factor: 14.43). 10/2000; 102(12):1375-81.
Source: PubMed


Little information exists concerning practice patterns between Canada and the United States in the management of myocardial infarction (MI) patients without ST-segment elevation and unstable angina.
We examined the practice patterns and 1-year outcomes of 2250 US and 922 Canadian patients without ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes in the Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO) IIb trial. The US hospitals more commonly had on-site facilities for angiography and revascularization. These procedures were performed more often and sooner in the United States than Canada, whereas Canadian patients were more likely to undergo noninvasive stress testing. The length of initial hospital stay was 1 day longer for Canadian than US patients. Recurrent and refractory ischemia was more common in Canada. One-year mortality was comparable between the 2 countries. However, at 6 months, even after baseline differences were accounted for, the (re)MI rate was significantly higher in Canadian than US patients with unstable angina (8.8% versus 5.8%, P:=0.039), as was the composite rate of death or (re)MI (13.1% versus 9.1%, P:=0.016).
One-year mortality was comparable between Canada and the United States in both MI and unstable angina cohorts despite higher intervention rates in the United States. However, outcomes at 6 months among patients with unstable angina differed. Whereas more frequent coronary interventions were not associated with reduced recurrent MI or death among MI patients without ST elevation, they may favorably affect outcomes in patients with unstable angina.

2 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Early coronary artery intervention is emerging as the treatment of choice for patients with high risk acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, most patients with ACS are admitted to hospitals which do not have ready access to interventional therapy. Extending the benefits of early intervention to this population is problematic at such community hospitals, since this approach would require either emergency transfer to a tertiary center or the performance of angioplasty on-site at hospitals without cardiac surgical capability. A third solution, pre-hospital ambulance triage to interventional centers, is not currently practised in most countries. A growing body of evidence indicates that hospitals without cardiac surgical capability can establish safe and effective primary angioplasty programs. Patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) who are randomized to transfer for primary angioplasty without fibrinolytic treatment have fewer major adverse cardiac events than those treated with fibrinolytics alone or fibrinolytics and transfer. In patients with unstable angina (UA) or non-ST-elevation AMI, an early aggressive approach led to a significant reduction in the composite end-point of death, AMI, or rehospitalization for recurrent UA at 6 months with no increase in cost, compared with conservative management. Ongoing trials in Europe indicate that pre-hospital ambulance triage of patients with large AMI to interventional centers can be remarkably rapid, safe, and effective. In order to improve the access of such patients to early intervention, 3 interdependent solutions are proposed:The development of more interventional programs at those hospitals without cardiac surgical facilities that can meet rigorous standards. The development of protocols to insure the early and more frequent transfer of patients with high-risk ACS to interventional centers for coronary angiography and revascularization. The pre-hospital triage of patients with AMI to established heart attack centers with 24-hour, 365-day emergency interventional capability for immediate primary angioplasty (after the model of trauma centers). Universal triage/transfer of all such patients to interventional centers could, however, quickly flood the capability of all tertiary surgical hospitals. With the aging of the 'baby boomers' in the near future, the need for interventional facilities will increase even further. Thus the second and third solutions above will ultimately depend on the first solution. Improving the delivery of interventional therapy to patients with ACS can provide a substantial healthcare benefit to society.
    American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 02/2001; 1(5):375-85. DOI:10.2165/00129784-200101050-00007 · 2.42 Impact Factor
  • American Heart Journal 08/2001; 142(1):14-20. DOI:10.1067/mhj.2001.116330 · 4.46 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre uses a weekly peer-review conference of cardiovascular experts to prioritize each surgical case to 1 of 4 queues with the use of standardized criteria of coronary anatomy, stress test result, and symptoms. We examined the hazard of waiting as well as the impact of waiting on surgical outcomes. Analysis was performed for 2102 consecutive patients queued for CABG, aortic valve replacement, or CABG+aortic valve replacement between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 1999. Among 1854 patients undergoing surgery, median waiting times on the respective queues were as follows: in-house urgent group, 8 days; semiurgent A group, 37 days; semiurgent B group, 64 days; and elective group, 113 days. There were 13 deaths (12 cardiac) that occurred during the waiting period (0.7% of the patients). Of the 8.7% patients upgraded to a more urgent queue, 86.1% required hospitalization before surgery. Although female sex was not associated with prolonged waiting time, it was predictive of urgent status (P=0.001). The incidence of postoperative complications was 25.0%, and operative mortality was 2.86%. Both were more frequent among patients undergoing surgery early (P=0.01); however, this difference was attributable to the in-house urgent queue. The median length of stay was 7 days for all patients and was not affected by waiting time. Death and upgrades while the patients were waiting tended to occur early in the queuing process, and prolonged waiting was not associated with worse surgical outcomes. The cost of reducing waiting times could in part be offset by prevention of hospital admissions among upgraded patients.
    Circulation 10/2001; 104(12 Suppl 1):I92-8. DOI:10.1161/hc37t1.094904 · 14.43 Impact Factor
Show more