Early routine percutaneous coronary intervention after fibrinolysis vs. standard therapy in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction: a meta-analysis

Eur Heart J. 2010 Sep;31(17):2156-69. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq204. Epub 2010 Jul 2.


Aims: Multiple trials in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) compared early routine percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) after successful fibrinolysis vs. standard therapy limiting PCI only to patients without evidence of reperfusion (rescue PCI). These trials suggest that all patients receiving fibrinolysis should receive mechanical revascularization within 24 h from initial hospitalization. However, individual trials could not demonstrate a significant reduction in 'hard' endpoints such as death and reinfarction. We performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to define the benefits of early PCI after fibrinolysis over standard therapy on clinical and safety endpoints in STEMI.

Methods and results: We identified seven eligible trials, enrolling a total of 2961 patients. No difference was found in the incidence of death at 30 days between the two strategies. Early PCI after successful fibrinolysis reduced the rate of reinfarction (OR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.36-0.82; P = 0.003), the combined endpoint death/reinfarction (OR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.49-0.88; P = 0.004) and recurrent ischaemia (OR: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.13-0.49; P < 0.001) at 30-day follow-up. These advantages were achieved without a significant increase in major bleeding (OR: 0.93, 96% CI: 0.67-1.34; P = 0.70) or stroke (OR: 0.63, 95% CI: 0.31-1.26; P = 0.21). The benefits of a routine invasive strategy over standard therapy were maintained at 6-12 months, with persistent significant reduction in the endpoints reinfarction (OR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.40-0.98; P = 0.01) and combined death/reinfarction (OR: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.52-0.97; P = 0.03).

Conclusion: Early routine PCI after fibrinolysis in STEMI patients significantly reduced reinfarction and recurrent ischaemia at 1 month, with no significant increase in adverse bleeding events compared to standard therapy. Benefits of early PCI persist at 6-12 month follow-up.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / methods*
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary / mortality
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Myocardial Revascularization / methods
  • Myocardial Revascularization / mortality
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents