Background: In patients with ST-segment elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI), early post-thrombolysis routine angioplasty has been discouraged because of its association with high incidence of events. The GRACIA-1 trial was designed to reassess the benefits of an early post-thrombolysis interventional approach in the era of stents and new antiplatelet agents.
Methods: 500 patients with thrombolysed STEMI (with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) were randomly assigned to angiography and intervention if indicated within 24 h of thrombolysis, or to an ischaemia-guided conservative approach. The primary endpoint was the combined rate of death, reinfarction, or revascularisation at 12 months. Analysis was by intention to treat.
Findings: Invasive treatment included stenting of the culprit artery in 80% (199 of 248) patients, bypass surgery in six (2%), non-culprit artery stenting in three, and no intervention in 40 (16%). Predischarge revascularisation was needed in 51 of 252 patients in the conservative group. By comparison with patients receiving conservative treatment, by 1 year, patients in the invasive group had lower frequency of primary endpoint (23 [9%] vs 51 [21%], risk ratio 0.44 [95% CI 0.28-0.70], p=0.0008), and they tended to have reduced rate of death or reinfarction (7% vs 12%, 0.59 [0.33-1.05], p=0.07). Index time in hospital was shorter in the invasive group, with no differences in major bleeding or vascular complications. At 30 days both groups had a similar incidence of cardiac events. In-hospital incidence of revascularisation induced by spontaneous recurrence of ischaemia was higher in patients in the conservative group than in those in the invasive group.
Interpretation: In patients with STEMI, early post-thrombolysis catheterisation and appropriate intervention is safe and might be preferable to a conservative strategy since it reduces the need for unplanned in-hospital revascularisation, and improves 1-year clinical outcome.