Facilitated percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction: comparison of prehospital tirofiban versus fibrinolysis before direct PCI

Martin Möckel, Wolfgang Bocksch, Sebastian Strohm, York Kühnle, Jörn Vollert, Lutz Nibbe, Rainer Dietz
International Journal of Cardiology 2005 August 18, 103 (2): 193-200

AIMS: Early start of treatment including coronary revascularization has been recognized as crucial variable in the outcome of acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The lack of availability and the realisation that an optimum reperfusion strategy will need to incorporate mechanical reperfusion as part of that strategy has led to a great deal of interest in pharmacologic reperfusion combined with mechanical reperfusion or facilitated PCI. It is not clear whether GPIIb/IIIa-blockade or fibrinolysis better facilitates PCI.

METHODS: We identified 138 patients who have been primarily treated by our mobile emergency care mobile from July 2001 until February 2003 with tirofiban or fibrinolysis. Seventy-nine patients had ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and available angiograms within 24 h.

RESULTS: Forty-four patients had tirofiban (TIRO; 60.6 S.D. 11.4 years, 64% male) and 35 patients underwent fibrinolysis (FIB; 31.4% tenecteplase, 54.3% reteplase, 11.4% alteplase, 2.9% streptokinase; 58.8 S.D. 12.2 years, 80% male). Data were analyzed with respect to TIMI-flow and corrected frame count (cTFC) before and after PCI, bleeding complications at 30 days and long-term follow up for major adverse events (median 288 days; MACE: Death, hospitalized re-infarction, intracranial hemorrhage). Catheter films were re-analyzed by an investigator blinded to the prehospital therapy. Time from onset of symptoms to first medical contact was 1.98 h in TIRO compared to 0.5 h in FIB (p<0.001) and time from first prehospital medical contact to catheter was 1.46 h in the TIRO compared to 2.85 h in the FIB group (p<0.001). TIMI 3-flow before PCI was observed in 20.5% of TIRO and 62.9% in FIB (p<0.001). After PCI TIMI 3-flow was achieved in 90.5% and 90.0%, respectively (p=n.s.). Final cTFC was 24 in TIRO and 29 in FIB (p=n.s.). Visible thrombi were detected in 30.2% in TIRO and 23.5% in FIB (p=n.s.). Major bleeding occurred in one TIRO patient (fatal lung bleeding after ultima ratio abciximab on top of tirofiban), 2 patients (4.5%) received transfusions. In FIB 2 intracerebral hemorrhages, 5 transfusions (14.3%) and 3 pulmonary bleedings during mandatory ventilation were observed. After 30 days 4.5% in TIRO and 22.9% in FIB had MACE (p=0.015). During long-term follow up the primary endpoint was observed in 4.5% of TIRO and 28.6% (p=0.003) of FIB. Two patients died in TIRO and 9 patients in FIB.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that (1) prehospital start of tirofiban for facilitated PCI is safe and effective if administered by experienced emergency physicians; (2) routine fibrinolysis should be limited to areas where catheter based therapy is not available within 90 min and (3) fibrinolysis should be given for facilitated PCI in randomized trials only at the moment.

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