Objectives: We sought to examine the effect of intravenous beta-blockers administered before primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) on survival and myocardial recovery after acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Background: Studies of primary PCI but not thrombolysis have suggested that beta-blocker administration before reperfusion may enhance survival. Whether oral beta-blocker use before admission modulates this effect is unknown.
Methods: The Controlled Abciximab and Device Investigation to Lower Late Angioplasty Complications (CADILLAC) trial randomized 2082 AMI patients to either stenting or balloon angioplasty, each +/- abciximab. In accordance with the protocol, intravenous beta-blockers were administered before PCI in the absence of contraindications.
Results: A total of 1136 patients (54.5%, BB+ group) received beta-blockers before PCI, whereas 946 (45.5%, BB- group) did not. The 30-day mortality was significantly lower in the BB+ group than in the BB- group (1.5% vs. 2.8%, p = 0.03), an effect entirely limited to patients who had not been receiving beta-blockers before admission (1.2% vs. 2.9%, p = 0.007). In contrast, no survival benefit with pre-procedural beta-blockers was observed in patients receiving beta-blockers at home (3.3% vs. 1.9%, respectively, p = 0.47). By multivariate analysis, pre-procedural beta-blocker use was an independent predictor of lower 30-day mortality among patients without previous beta-blocker therapy (relative risk = 0.38 [95% confidence interval 0.17 to 0.87], p = 0.02). The improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction from baseline to seven months was also greater after intravenous beta-blockers (3.8% vs. 1.3%, p = 0.01), an effect limited to patients not receiving oral beta-blockers before admission.
Conclusions: In patients with AMI undergoing primary PCI, myocardial recovery is enhanced and 30-day mortality is reduced with pre-procedural intravenous beta-blockade, effects confined to patients untreated with oral beta-blocker medication before admission.