Although a fibrinolytic pharmacoinvasive strategy is recommended for patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) unable to undergo timely primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), there are limited data addressing outcomes specific to those with successful or unsuccessful pharmacologic reperfusions. Accordingly, we evaluated a contemporary pharmacoinvasive strategy for failed and successful reperfusions within the STrategic Reperfusion Early After Myocardial infarction study. Of 1,823 per-protocol-treated patients with STEMI, we examined clinical outcomes and angiographic and electrocardiographic metrics in 3 groups as follows: fibrinolysis requiring rescue (rescue, n = 348), fibrinolysis with scheduled angiography (scheduled, n = 516), and primary PCI (n = 927). Compared with pharmacoinvasive patients undergoing scheduled angiography, rescue patients were more likely to have anterior wall myocardial infarction, more baseline ST-segment elevation and deviation, as well as Q waves in the distribution of their ST elevation. Residual ST elevation ≥ 2 mm 30 minutes after angiography occurred in 27.9%, 7.9%, and 24.8% of patients who underwent rescue, scheduled, and primary PCI, respectively. Thirty-day composite event rates (all-cause death, cardiogenic shock, heart failure, and reinfarction) were 18.7%, 5.5%, and 13.9%; all-cause death: 6.1%, 2.1%, and 3.9%; cardiogenic shock: 7.5%, 2.0%, and 5.4%; heart failure: 11.8%, 2.3%, and 7.6%; and reinfarction: 1.5%, 1.4%, and 2.2%, for rescue, scheduled, and primary PCI, respectively. Compared with successfully reperfused patients undergoing scheduled angiography, the adjusted relative risk of the primary outcome was 2.92 (95% confidence interval 1.92 to 4.45) in rescue patients. In conclusion, pharmacoinvasive-treated patients requiring rescue angiography had greater baseline risk with more co-morbidities and worse 30-day outcomes compared with successful fibrinolytic-treated patients. Residual ST elevation after reperfusion assists in defining prognosis.
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