Background: The clinical effect of routine intracoronary thrombus aspiration before primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is uncertain. We aimed to evaluate whether thrombus aspiration reduces mortality.
Methods: We conducted a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled, open-label clinical trial, with enrollment of patients from the national comprehensive Swedish Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty Registry (SCAAR) and end points evaluated through national registries. A total of 7244 patients with STEMI undergoing PCI were randomly assigned to manual thrombus aspiration followed by PCI or to PCI only. The primary end point was all-cause mortality at 30 days.
Results: No patients were lost to follow-up. Death from any cause occurred in 2.8% of the patients in the thrombus-aspiration group (103 of 3621), as compared with 3.0% in the PCI-only group (110 of 3623) (hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.22; P=0.63). The rates of hospitalization for recurrent myocardial infarction at 30 days were 0.5% and 0.9% in the two groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.34 to 1.07; P=0.09), and the rates of stent thrombosis were 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.20 to 1.02; P=0.06). There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the rate of stroke or neurologic complications at the time of discharge (P=0.87). The results were consistent across all major prespecified subgroups, including subgroups defined according to thrombus burden and coronary flow before PCI.
Conclusions: Routine thrombus aspiration before PCI as compared with PCI alone did not reduce 30-day mortality among patients with STEMI. (Funded by the Swedish Research Council and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01093404.).