Cost of strategies after myocardial infarction (COSTAMI): a multicentre, international, randomized trial for cost-effective discharge after uncomplicated myocardial infarction

Eur Heart J. 2003 Sep;24(18):1630-9. doi: 10.1016/s0195-668x(03)00308-7.


Aims: Risk stratification after uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction is mostly applied by either symptom-limited post discharge exercise electrocardiography or pre-discharge submaximal exercise test. Aim of the present study was to determine if early pharmacological stress echocardiography and discharge within 24 hours of the test in cases without induced myocardial ischemia leads to lower costs and similar clinical outcome during 1 year follow up when compared to clinical evaluation and exercise electrocardiography after discharge.

Methods and results: Four-hundred fifty-eight patients from 10 participating centers with a recent uncomplicated myocardial infarction were randomized to pharmacological stress echocardiography on day 3-5 followed by early discharge in the case of negative test result (early discharge strategy) (n=233) or clinical evaluation with hospital discharge on day 7-9 and symptom-limited post-discharge exercise electrocardiography at 2-4 weeks after myocardial infarction (usual care strategy) (n=225). At 1 year follow up there were 63 events (4 deaths, 9 non fatal reinfarctions, 50 chest pains requiring hospitalization) in patients randomized to early discharge, and 69 events (6 deaths, 13 reinfarctions, 50 chest pains requiring hospitalization) in usual care (p=ns). Total median individual costs calculated on the basis of hospitalizations, investigations and interventions during 1 year follow up were 3561 for early discharge strategy vs 3850 for usual care strategy (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Early pharmacological stress echocardiography followed by early discharge in case of negative test result gives similar clinical outcome and lower costs after uncomplicated myocardial infarction than clinical evaluation and delayed post-discharge symptom-limited exercise electrocardiography.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dipyridamole
  • Dobutamine
  • Echocardiography, Stress / economics
  • Female
  • Health Resources / economics
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / economics*
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasodilator Agents


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Dobutamine
  • Dipyridamole