Facilitated angioplasty with combo therapy among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: a meta-analysis of randomized trials.

Research paper by Giuseppe G De Luca, Paolo P Marino

Indexed on: 16 Sep '09Published on: 16 Sep '09Published in: American Journal of Emergency Medicine


Time to treatment has been shown to be a major determinant of mortality in primary angioplasty. The aim of the current study was to perform a meta-analysis of randomized trials evaluating the benefits from pharmacologic facilitation with adjunctive glycoprotein (Gp) IIb-IIIa inhibitors + reduced lytic therapy vs adjunctive Gp IIb-IIIa inhibitors among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (MI).We obtained results from all randomized trials comparing facilitated PCI with adjunctive Gp IIb-IIIa inhibitors and reduced lytic therapy vs adjunctive Gp IIb-IIIa inhibitors among patients with ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI). The literature was scanned by formal searches of electronic databases (MEDLINE and CENTRAL) from January 1990 to December 2007. The following key words were used: randomized trial, MI, reperfusion, primary angioplasty, pharmacologic facilitation, facilitated angioplasty, combo therapy, fibrinolysis, thrombolysis, half-dose lytic therapy, duteplase, reteplase, tenecteplase, alteplase, abciximab, tirofiban, eptifibatide, and Gp IIb-IIIa inhibitors. Angiographic end points were the rate of preprocedural and postprocedural thrombolysis in MI (TIMI) 3 flow. Clinical end points assessed were mortality and reinfarction at 30-day follow-up, whereas major bleeding complications were assessed as safety end point. No language restriction was applied.We identified 6 randomized trials, including 2684 patients with STEMI. Even though combo therapy was associated with a significant improvement in preprocedural TIMI 3 flow (44.3% vs 15.2%, P < .0001, P(het) < .0001), it did not improve the rate of postprocedural TIMI 3 flow (91.5% vs 91.2%, P = .12). No benefits were observed in terms of 30-day mortality (4.2% vs 4.6%, P = .66, P(het) = .22) and/or 30-day reinfarction (1.3% vs 1.3%, P = .84). However, combo therapy was associated with higher risk of major bleeding complications (5.8% vs 3.9%, P = .03).This meta-analysis shows that among patients with STEMI undergoing primary angioplasty, pharmacologic facilitation with combined reduced-dose thrombolytic therapy and Gp IIbIIIa inhibitors is not superior to Gp IIb-IIIa inhibitors alone and, thus, may not be routinely recommended. However, future randomized trials should investigate whether this strategy may further improve outcome when applied within the first hours from symptoms onset, especially in patients undergoing transferring for primary angioplasty.

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