Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Contemporary management of acute coronary syndromes: does the practice match the evidence? The global registry of acute coronary events (GRACE)
  1. K F Carruthers1,
  2. O H Dabbous2,
  3. M D Flather3,
  4. I Starkey4,
  5. A Jacob5,
  6. D MacLeod6,
  7. K A A Fox1,
  8. on behalf of the GRACE Investigators
  1. 1The University and The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, London, UK
  4. 4The Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  5. 5St John’s Hospital, Livingston, UK
  6. 6Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Keith A A Fox
    Cardiovascular Research Division of Medical and Radiological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Chancellor’s Building, 49 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4SB, UK;


Objective: To determine to what extent evidence based guidelines are followed in the management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) in the UK, elsewhere in Europe, and multinationally, and what the outcomes are.

Design: Multinational, prospective, observational registry (GRACE, global registry of acute coronary events) with six months’ follow up.

Setting: Patients presenting to a cluster of hospitals. The study was designed to collect data representative of the full spectrum of ACS in specific geographic populations.

Patients: Patients admitted with a working diagnosis of unstable angina or suspected myocardial infarction (MI).

Main outcome measures: Death during hospitalisation and at six months’ follow up (adjusted for baseline risks).

Results: In ST elevation MI, reperfusion was applied more often in the UK (71%) than in Europe (65%) and multinationally (59%) (p < 0.01). However, this was almost entirely by lytic treatment, in contrast with elsewhere (primary percutaneous coronary intervention 1%, 29%, 16%, respectively). Statins were applied more frequently in the UK for all classes of patients with ACS (p < 0.0001). In contrast there was lower use of revascularisation procedures in non-ST MI (20% v 37% v 28%, respectively) and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists (6% v 25% v 26%, respectively). In-hospital death rates, adjusted for baseline risk, were not significantly different but six month death rates were higher in the UK for ST elevation MI (7.2% UK, 4.3% Europe, 5.3% multinationally; p < 0.0001) and non-ST elevation MI (7.5%, 6.2%, and 6.7%, respectively; p  =  0.012, UK v Europe).

Conclusions: Current management of ACS in the UK more closely follows the recommendations of the National Service Framework than British or European guidelines. Differences in practice may account for the observed higher event rates in the UK after hospital discharge.

  • ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme
  • ACS, acute coronary syndromes
  • ASPIRE, action on secondary prevention through intervention to reduce events
  • ENACT, European network for acute coronary treatment
  • GRACE, global registry of acute coronary events
  • MI, myocardial infarction
  • MONICA, monitoring trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease
  • NSF, National Service Framework
  • PCI, percutaneous coronary intervention
  • PRAIS-UK, prospective registry of acute ischaemic syndromes in the UK
  • acute coronary syndromes
  • registry
  • guidelines
  • management
  • outcome

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Miscellanea
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society
  • Miscellanea
    BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Cardiovascular Society