Objectives: We sought to study the effect of early infusion of abciximab on coronary patency before primary angioplasty in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Background: Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists have proved to be effective in reducing ischemic events associated with coronary angioplasty. The present study explores whether abciximab alone, without administration of thrombolytic therapy, may induce reperfusion in patients with acute myocardial infarction.
Methods: In the Glycoprotein Receptor Antagonist Patency Evaluation pilot study 60 patients with less than 6 h signs and symptoms of acute myocardial infarction eligible for primary angioplasty received in the emergency room a bolus of abciximab 250 microg/kg followed by a 12-h infusion of 10 microg/min. All patients were also treated with an oral dose of 160 mg aspirin and 5,000 IU of heparin intravenously. As soon as possible a diagnostic angiography was performed to evaluate the patency of the infarct-related artery.
Results: The median time between onset of symptoms and the administration of the abciximab bolus was 150 min (range 45 to 345), and the median time between abciximab bolus and first contrast injection in the infarct-related artery was 45 min (range 10 to 150). In 24 patients (40%, 95% confidence interval 28% to 52%) Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) flow grade 2 or 3 was observed at a median time of 45 min (range 10 to 150) after abciximab bolus; TIMI flow grade 3 was observed in 11 patients (18%, 95% confidence interval 9% to 28%). There was no difference in percentage of TIMI flow grade 2 or 3 between patients who received abciximab within 2.5 h after onset of symptoms or thereafter.
Conclusions: Abciximab therapy given in the emergency room in patients awaiting primary angioplasty is associated with full reperfusion (TIMI flow grade 3) in about 20% and with TIMI flow grade 2 or 3 in about 40% of the patients at a median time of 45 min. These figures are higher than those in primary angioplasty trials without such pretreatment. Randomized controlled trials of very early infusion of abciximab, either prehospital or in-hospital, in patients eligible for angioplasty are warranted.