Background: Outcomes of patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes are improved with an early invasive approach; however, approximately one third of these patients are treated medically after angiographic screening. We sought to assess the predictors of adverse cardiac events in patients with acute coronary syndrome assigned to medical management.
Methods and results: This substudy of the Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage Strategy (ACUITY) trial included 4491 acute coronary syndrome patients treated medically after angiographic triage. Rates of bleeding and composite ischemia (death, myocardial infarction, revascularization) were compared among the 3 antithrombotic treatment arms. Composite ischemia occurred in 399 patients (9.5%) at 1 year. Treatment with bivalirudin glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors significantly reduced major bleeding at 30 days (2.5% bivalirudin monotherapy; P=0.005, 2.0% bivalirudin plus glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors; P=0.0002 versus 4.4% heparin with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors). Composite ischemic events at 1 year were not significantly different in the 3 groups (bivalirudin monotherapy, 9.6%; bivalirudin plus glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, 9.7%; heparin plus glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, 9.1%). Independent predictors of composite ischemia were mostly angiographic factors at 30 days, including jeopardy score and coronary ectasia, and at 1 year, including previous percutaneous coronary intervention, jeopardy score, coronary ectasia, and increasing number of diseased vessels.
Conclusions: Among the ACUITY acute coronary syndrome patients treated medically after angiographic triage, bivalirudin therapy significantly reduced bleeding complications compared with heparin without any negative impact on ischemic outcomes at 1 year. The most powerful predictors of ischemic outcomes were angiographic rather than traditional clinical parameters, supporting the early use of angiographic screening in the moderate- and high-risk but medically treated acute coronary syndrome population. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00093158.