Implementation of Guidelines Improves the Standard of Care
The Viennese Registry on Reperfusion Strategies in ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (Vienna STEMI Registry)
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Background— The purpose of this study was to determine whether implementation of recent guidelines improves in-hospital mortality from acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in a metropolitan area.
Methods and Results— We organized a network that consisted of the Viennese Ambulance Systems, which is responsible for diagnosis and triage of patients with acute STEMI, and 5 high-volume interventional cardiology departments to expand the performance of primary percutaneous catheter intervention (PPCI) and to use the fastest available reperfusion strategy in STEMI of short duration (2 to 3 hours from onset of symptoms), either PPCI or thrombolytic therapy (TT; prehospital or in-hospital), respectively. Implementation of guidelines resulted in increased numbers of patients receiving 1 of the 2 reperfusion strategies (from 66% to 86.6%). Accordingly, the proportion of patients not receiving reperfusion therapy dropped from 34% to 13.4%, respectively. PPCI usage increased from 16% to almost 60%, whereas the use of TT decreased from 50.5% to 26.7% in the participating centers. As a consequence, in-hospital mortality decreased from 16% before establishment of the network to 9.5%, including patients not receiving reperfusion therapy. Whereas PPCI and TT demonstrated comparable in-hospital mortality rates when initiated within 2 to 3 hours from onset of symptoms, PPCI was more effective in acute STEMI of >3 but <12 hours’ duration.
Conclusions— Implementation of recent guidelines for the treatment of acute STEMI by the organization of a cooperating network within a large metropolitan area was associated with a significant improvement in clinical outcomes.
Received August 31, 2005; revision received January 30, 2006; accepted March 10, 2006.