Comparison of Early Invasive and Conservative Strategies in Patients With Unstable Coronary Syndromes Treated With the Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitor Tirofiban

N Engl J Med. 2001 Jun 21;344(25):1879-87. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200106213442501.

Abstract

Background: There is continued debate as to whether a routine, early invasive strategy is superior to a conservative strategy for the management of unstable angina and myocardial infarction without ST-segment elevation.

Methods: We enrolled 2220 patients with unstable angina and myocardial infarction without ST-segment elevation who had electrocardiographic evidence of changes in the ST segment or T wave, elevated levels of cardiac markers, a history of coronary artery disease, or all three findings. All patients were treated with aspirin, heparin, and the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor tirofiban. They were randomly assigned to an early invasive strategy, which included routine catheterization within 4 to 48 hours and revascularization as appropriate, or to a more conservative (selectively invasive) strategy, in which catheterization was performed only if the patient had objective evidence of recurrent ischemia or an abnormal stress test. The primary end point was a composite of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and rehospitalization for an acute coronary syndrome at six months.

Results: At six months, the rate of the primary end point was 15.9 percent with use of the early invasive strategy and 19.4 percent with use of the conservative strategy (odds ratio, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.62 to 0.97; P=0.025). The rate of death or nonfatal myocardial infarction at six months was similarly reduced (7.3 percent vs. 9.5 percent; odds ratio, 0.74; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 1.00; P<0.05).

Conclusions: In patients with unstable angina and myocardial infarction without ST-segment elevation who were treated with the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor tirofiban, the use of an early invasive strategy significantly reduced the incidence of major cardiac events. These data support a policy involving broader use of the early inhibition of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa in combination with an early invasive strategy in such patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina, Unstable / drug therapy
  • Angina, Unstable / mortality
  • Angina, Unstable / therapy*
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tirofiban
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • Tyrosine
  • Heparin
  • Tirofiban
  • Aspirin