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ABSTRACT: To determine whether late recanalization of an occluded infarct artery after acute myocardial infarction is beneficial.
Two hundred and twelve patients with a first Q-wave myocardial infarction (MI) and an occluded infarct vessel were enrolled. After coronary and left ventricular contrast angiography, patients were randomized to percutaneous revascularization (PTCA, n=109), carried out 2-15 days after symptom onset or medical therapy (n=103). The primary endpoint was a composite of cardiac death, non-fatal MI, or ventricular tachyarrhythmia. The majority had single-vessel disease and less than one-third had involvement of the left anterior descending artery. The use of pharmacological therapy was high in both groups. At six months, left ventricular ejection fraction was 5% higher in the invasive compared with the medical group (P=0.013) and more patients had a patent artery (82.8% vs 34.2%, P<0.0001). Restenosis was seen in 49.4% of patients in the PTCA group. At a mean of 34 months of follow-up, the occurrence of the primary endpoint was similar in the medical and PTCA groups (8.7% vs 7.3% respectively, P=0.68), but the overall costs were higher for PTCA. The secondary endpoint combining the primary endpoint with admission for heart failure was also similar between groups (12.6% vs 10.1% in the medical and PTCA groups, respectively, P=0.56).
Systematic late PTCA of the infarct vessel was associated with a higher left ventricular ejection fraction at six months, no difference in clinical outcomes, and higher costs than medical therapy. These results must be interpreted with caution given the small size and low risk of the population.
European Heart Journal 01/2005; 25(24):2187-94. · 14.10 Impact Factor