Randomized comparison of rescue angioplasty with conservative management of patients with early failure of thrombolysis for acute anterior myocardial infarction.
BACKGROUND When used in the setting of acute myocardial infarction, intravenous thrombolytic agents fail to achieve early infarct artery patency in 15% to 50% of patients. We tested the hypothesis that immediate balloon angioplasty applied to patients with failed early reperfusion would improve left ventricular function and clinical outcome at 30 days compared with conservative management alone.
METHODS AND RESULTS One hundred fifty-one patients with first anterior wall infarction treated with any accepted intravenous thrombolytic regimen and angiographically demonstrated to have an occluded infarct vessel within 8 hours of chest pain onset were randomized to aspirin, heparin, and coronary vasodilators (conservative therapy) or to this therapy and balloon angioplasty supplemented by further thrombolytic therapy as needed. Left ventricular function was assessed using multiple-gated equilibrium radionuclide technique to determine ejection fraction, and adverse clinical outcome was assessed evaluating death, ventricular tachycardia, and class III or IV heart failure at 30 days. Seventy-three patients were randomized to conservative therapy and 78 to angioplasty. The two groups were well balanced for patient age (59 +/- 11 years), sex (82% were male), and time to randomization (4.5 +/- 1.9 hours). Angioplasty was technically successful in 72 of 78 randomized patients (92%). Two patients randomized to conservative therapy crossed over to angioplasty within 72 hours. Resting 30-day ejection fraction was 40 +/- 11% in the angioplasty group and 39 +/- 12% in the conservative group (P = .49), but ejection fraction with exercise was 43 +/- 15% and 38 +/- 13% for the angioplasty and conservatively treated groups, respectively (P = .04). Adverse clinical outcomes included death in 5% and 10% (P = .18), severe heart failure in 1% and 7% (P = .11), and either death or severe heart failure in 6% and 17% (P = .05) of the angioplasty and conservatively managed groups, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS When applied to patients with first anterior infarction, rescue angioplasty appears to be useful in the prevention of death or severe heart failure, with improvement in exercise, but not resting, ejection fraction. This strategy deserves further study and highlights the potential advantage of early mechanical restoration of infarct vessel patency when thrombolytic therapy has failed.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association