Variation in patient management and outcomes for acute coronary syndromes in Latin America and North America: results from the Platelet IIb/IIIa in Unstable Angina: Receptor Suppression Using Integrilin Therapy (PURSUIT) trial

Am Heart J. 2001 Mar;141(3):391-401. doi: 10.1067/mhj.2001.113216.


Background: Although more than 9500 patients have been enrolled in major clinical trials in Latin America, practice patterns in this region have rarely been examined. We sought to compare characteristics, resource utilization, and outcomes of patients treated for acute coronary syndromes in Latin America with those in North America.

Methods: The Platelet IIb/IIIa in Unstable Angina: Receptor Suppression Using Integrilin Theraphy Trial (PURSUIT) enrolled 10,948 patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes, including 585 in Latin America and 4358 in North America. We analyzed regional differences in patient groups, treatment patterns, and outcomes and used logistic regression analysis to identify association of enrollment region and survival.

Results: For patients in Latin America, the length of hospital stay was significantly longer (10 [7, 15] days vs 6 [4, 9], P <.001). Angiograms, angioplasty, and bypass surgery were significantly less common in Latin America (46.2%, 17.6%, and 11.3% vs 79.4%, 33.6%, and 19.4%, P <.001). Thirty-day death/myocardial infarction was not significantly higher, although mortality alone was significantly higher (6.8% vs 3.1%, P <.001). After adjustment for baseline characteristics, enrollment in Latin America remained an independent predictor for death at 30 days (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 2.42 [1.60-3.67]) and persisted at 6 months (OR [95% CI] 2.5 [1.8-3.4]).

Conclusions: Latin American patients treated for acute coronary syndromes were managed less invasively and were twice as likely as their North American counterparts to die within 6 months. This mortality difference was not explained by imbalances in baseline risk.

MeSH terms

  • Angina, Unstable / drug therapy*
  • Angina, Unstable / mortality*
  • Eptifibatide
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latin America / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Peptides
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • Eptifibatide