Prevalence of coronary occlusion and outcome of an immediate invasive strategy in suspected acute myocardial infarction with and without ST-segment elevation

Yutaka Koyama, Peter S Hansen, Colm G Hanratty, Gregory I C Nelson, Helge H Rasmussen
American Journal of Cardiology 2002 September 15, 90 (6): 579-84
The prevalence of flow-limiting coronary lesions at the time of presentation in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) is unknown. Because rational reperfusion strategies depend on early, accurate identification of coronary flow limitation, we performed coronary angiography at the time of presentation of patients with suspected NSTEMI. We also evaluated outcomes of an immediate interventional strategy. A comparison is made with suspected ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Unselected consecutive patients with suspected STEMI or NSTEMI were enrolled in a prospective observational cohort study. Suspected STEMI was defined according to standard criteria. Suspected NSTEMI was identified by clinical evaluation of symptoms, electrocardiographic changes, persistence of ischemic pain for >20 minutes despite treatment, and/or hemodynamic instability. Biochemical evidence of myocardial necrosis on presentation was not mandatory. An immediate, around-the-clock invasive strategy was applied. Significant coronary lesions were found in 94% of 279 patients with suspected STEMI and in 90% of 125 patients with suspected NSTEMI, and coronary occlusion or flow limitation was present in 75% and 63% of patients, respectively. Immediate percutaneous coronary intervention was performed in 74% and 60%, respectively, and an additional 13% and 18%, respectively, had coronary artery bypass surgery during the index admission. In-hospital mortalities in the patients with suspected STEMI and NSTEMI were 4.7% and 5.6%, respectively. An additional 1.9% and 2.5% died at 6 months. The prevalence of coronary flow limitation in clinically suspected NSTEMI is almost as high as in suspected STEMI. Short- and long-term outcomes of an immediate invasive strategy are similar for the 2 conditions.

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