Objectives: We sought to directly compare primary stenting with accelerated tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in patients presenting with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (AMI).
Background: Thrombolysis remains the standard therapy for AMI. However, at some institutions primary angioplasty is favored. Randomized trials have shown that primary angioplasty is equal or superior to thrombolysis, while recent studies demonstrate that stent implantation improves the results of primary angioplasty.
Methods: Patients presenting with AMI were randomly assigned to primary stenting (n = 62) or accelerated t-PA (n = 61). The primary end point was the composite of death, reinfarction, stroke or repeat target vessel revascularization (TVR) for ischemia at six months.
Results: The primary end point was significantly reduced in the stent group compared with the accelerated t-PA group, 24.2% versus 55.7% (p < 0.001). The event rates for other outcomes in the stent group versus the t-PA group were as follows: mortality: 4.8% versus 3.3% (p = 1.00); reinfarction: 6.5% versus 16.4% (p = 0.096); stroke: 1.6% versus 4.9% (p = 0.36); recurrent unstable ischemia: 9.7% versus 26.2% (p = 0.03) and repeat TVR for ischemia: 14.5% versus 49.2% (p < 0.001). The median length of the initial hospitalization was four days in the stent group and seven days in the t-PA group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Compared with accelerated t-PA, primary stenting reduces death, reinfarction, stroke or repeat TVR for ischemia. In centers where facilities and experienced interventionists are available, primary stenting offers an attractive alternative to thrombolysis.