Objective: Comparison of the long-term outcomes of three reperfusion strategies in patients with acute ST elevation myocardial infarction presenting to community hospitals.
Methods: One-year clinical outcomes were compared for 300 patients randomized in the PRimary Angioplasty in patients transferred from General community hospitals to specialized percutaneous coronary intervention Units with or without Emergency thrombolysis (PRAGUE-1) study to one of three treatment strategies: thrombolysis in a community hospital (group A, n=99); thrombolysis during immediate transportation for coronary angioplasty (group B, n=100); and immediate transportation for coronary angioplasty without thrombolysis (group C, n=101).
Results: Total mortality rates in group A, B and C patients were 18%, 12% and 13%, respectively (not significant). Nonfatal reinfarction occurred in 12%, 6% and 3% of patients, respectively (P<0.05). The combined endpoint (total mortality and nonfatal reinfarction rate) was reported in 30%, 18% and 16% of patients, respectively (P<0.05). In patients randomized within 2 h of the onset of symptoms, mortality rates were 18%, 3% and 8%, respectively (P<0.05). Additional revascularization procedures (percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, coronary artery bypass graft surgery) were performed in 35%, 14% and 15% of patients, respectively (P<0.001).
Conclusions: Primary angioplasty (even if delayed due to patient transportation to an interventional centre) is associated with better short- and long-term clinical outcomes than thrombolysis. The combination of the two strategies did not prove superior to coronary angioplasty alone. However, it may be superior in a subset of patients with early admission. The coronary angioplasty strategy decreases the need for revascularization procedures during the subsequent one-year follow-up.