Objectives: This study sought to compare the two-year outcome after primary percutaneous coronary angioplasty or thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction.
Background: Primary angioplasty, that is, angioplasty without antecedent thrombolytic therapy, has been shown to be an effective reperfusion modality for patients suffering an acute myocardial infarction. This report reviews the two-year clinical outcome of patients randomized in the Primary Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction trial.
Methods: At 12 clinical centers, 395 patients who presented within 12 h of the onset of myocardial infarction were randomized to undergo primary angioplasty (195 patients) or to receive tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) (200 patients) followed by conservative care. Patients were followed by physician visits, phone call, letter and review of hospital records for any hospital admission at one month, six months, one year and two years.
Results: At two years, patients undergoing primary angioplasty had less recurrent ischemia (36.4% vs. 48% for t-PA, p = 0.026), lower reintervention rates (27.2% vs. 46.5% for t-PA, p < 0.0001) and reduced hospital readmission rates (58.5% vs. 69.0% for t-PA, p = 0.035). The combined end point of death or reinfarction was 14.9% for angioplasty versus 23% for t-PA, p = 0.034. Multivariate analysis found angioplasty to be independently predictive of a reduction in death, reinfarction or target vessel revascularization (p = 0.0001).
Conclusions: The initial benefit of primary angioplasty performed by experienced operators is maintained over a two-year follow-up period with improved infarct-free survival and reduced rate of reintervention.