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Prospective randomised comparison between thrombolysis, rescue PTCA, and primary PTCA in patients with extensive myocardial infarction admitted to a hospital without PTCA facilities: a safety and feasibility study


OBJECTIVE To assess the safety and feasibility of acute transport followed by rescue percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or primary PTCA in patients with acute myocardial infarction initially admitted to a hospital without PTCA facilities.

DESIGN In a multicentre randomised open trial, three regimens of treatment of acute large myocardial infarction were compared for patients admitted to hospitals without angioplasty facilities: thrombolytic treatment with alteplase (75 patients), alteplase followed by transfer to the PTCA centre and (if indicated) rescue PTCA (74 patients), or transfer for primary PTCA (75 patients).

RESULTS Between 1995 and 1997 224 patients were included. Baseline characteristics were distributed evenly. Transport to the PTCA centre was without severe complications in all patients. Mean (SD) delay from onset of symptoms to randomisation was 130 (75) minutes and from randomisation to angiography 90 (25) minutes. Death or recurrent infarction within 42 days occurred in 12 patients in the thrombolysis group, in 10 patients in the rescue PTCA group, and in six patients in the primary PTCA group. These differences were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS Acute transfer for rescue PTCA or primary PTCA in patients with extensive myocardial infarction is feasible and safe. Efficacy of rescue PTCA or primary PTCA in this setting will have to be tested in larger series before this approach can be implemented as “routine treatment” for patients with extensive myocardial infarction.

  • myocardial infarction
  • percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty
  • primary PTCA
  • rescue PTCA
  • reperfusion

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