Reperfusion therapy for acute ST-elevation and non ST-elevation myocardial infarction: what can be achieved in daily clinical practice in unselected patients at an interventional center?

Ralf Zahn, Fabienne Schweppe, Uwe Zeymer, Rudolf Schiele, Anselm Kai Gitt, Bernd Mark, Birgit Frilling, Karlheinz Seidl, Ralf Winkler, Tobias Heer, Steffen Schneider, Jochen Senges
Acute Cardiac Care 2009, 11 (2): 92-8

BACKGROUND: In the year 2000 a new definition of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was introduced, now differentiating ST segment elevation AMI (STEMI) from non-ST segment elevation AMI (NSTEMI). The characterization of AMI patients according to this definition is still incomplete.

METHODS AND RESULTS: 888 consecutive AMI patients at a single interventional center were included: 493 (55.5%) STEMI and 395 (44.5%) NSTEMI patients. Median age of STEMI patients was four years lower compared to NSTEMI patients (62.8 versus 66.6 years, P<0.001). STEMI patients more often presented in cardiogenic shock (11.0% versus 2.0%, P<0.001) and after pre-hospital resuscitation (4.9% versus 0.8%, P<0.001). Catheterization was performed in 98.4% of STEMI and in 95.9% of NSTEMI patients (P<0.001). The circumflex artery was more often the culprit lesion in NSTEMI patients compared to STEMI patients (58.3% versus 48%, P=0.003). They also showed significantly more often a 3 vessel disease (41.4% versus 29.9%, P=0.002). Out of STEMI patients 10.1% were treated with medical therapy only compared to 27.2% of NSTEMI patients (P<0.001). Whereas PCI was performed more often in STEMI patients (84.3% versus 57.8%, P<0.001), CABG was used more often in NSTEMI patients (21.6% versus 9.1%, P<0.001). In-hospital death was 8.7% in STEMI compared to 4.8% in NSTEMI patients (P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: In clinical practice STEMI and NSTEMI seem to occur with similar frequency. Invasive strategies were applied in a high percentage in both groups, however with different therapeutic consequences. In-hospital mortality was twice as high in STEMI compared to NSTEMI patients.

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