Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to compare intravenous streptokinase therapy with immediate coronary angioplasty without antecedent thrombolytic therapy with regard to left ventricular function and hospital mortality and reinfarction.
Background: Despite the widespread use of intravenous thrombolytic therapy and immediate percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, these two strategies to treat patients with an acute myocardial infarction have only recently been compared in randomized trials. Coronary angioplasty has been shown to result in a higher patency rate of the infarct-related coronary artery, with a less severe residual stenotic lesion, compared with streptokinase therapy, but whether this more favorable coronary anatomy results in clinical benefit remains to be established.
Methods: We studied 301 patients with acute myocardial infarction randomly assigned to undergo immediate coronary angioplasty without antecedent thrombolytic therapy or to receive intravenous streptokinase therapy. Before discharge left ventricular ejection fraction was measured by radionuclide scanning.
Results: The in-hospital mortality rate in the streptokinase group was 7% (11 of 149 patients) compared with 2% (3 of 152 patients) in the angioplasty group (p = 0.024). In the streptokinase group recurrent myocardial infarction occurred in 15 patients (10%) versus in 2 (1%) in the angioplasty group (p < 0.001). Either death or nonfatal reinfarction occurred in 23 patients (15%) in the streptokinase group and in 5 patients (3%) in the angioplasty group (p = 0.001). Left ventricular ejection fraction was 44 +/- 11% (mean +/- SD) in the streptokinase group versus 50 +/- 11% in the angioplasty group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: These findings indicate that immediate coronary angioplasty without antecedent thrombolytic therapy results in better left ventricular function and lower risk of death and recurrent myocardial infarction than treatment with intravenous streptokinase.