Is It Safe or Necessary?
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In this issue of Circulation, Bertrand et al1 report the results of the Early Discharge after Transradial Stenting of Coronary Arteries (EASY) Study. After receiving a standard bolus of abciximab and undergoing a successful and uncomplicated transradial stent placement, 1005 patients were randomized to a traditional strategy with overnight hospitalization or early discharge after 4 to 6 hours. All patients received aspirin, clopidogrel, and a bolus dose of abciximab before their procedure. Those in the traditional strategy group also received a 12-hour abciximab infusion, whereas those in the early discharge group did not. The goal of the EASY study was to show that stent implantation by the radial approach with only a bolus of abciximab and then early discharge was not inferior to the traditional strategy in terms of effectiveness and safety. The primary composite end point was the 30-day incidence of death, any myocardial infarction, unplanned revascularization, major bleeding, repeat hospitalization, access-site complications, or severe thrombocytopenia. On the basis of their data, the authors concluded that the abbreviated abciximab therapy with same-day discharge was clinically not inferior to the traditional strategy after uncomplicated stent placement.
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With healthcare costs increasing, strategies to limit expenditures are popular and deserve careful examination. Accepted cardiology practice has moved toward dramatically shortened hospital stays for diagnostic coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) as well as many other procedures. The present study suggests that many patients who undergo PCI could be managed safely as outpatients. Substantial accomplishments in the practice of PCI have resulted in the excellent success and safety of the procedure we now observe, but are we ready for routine outpatient PCI?
The use of radial artery access has been well described in the literature. Despite studies demonstrating the feasibility, safety, and acceptance by patients of this …