Objectives: The goals of this study were to examine the safety and feasibility of a routine (primary) stent strategy in acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Background: Limitations of reperfusion by primary percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) in AMI include in-hospital recurrent ischemia or reinfarction in 10% to 15% of patients, restenosis in 37% to 49% and late infarct-related artery reocclusion in 9% to 14%. By lowering the residual stenosis and sealing dissection planes created by PTCA, primary stenting may further improve short- and long-term outcomes after mechanical reperfusion.
Methods: Three hundred twelve consecutive patients treated with primary PTCA for AMI at nine international centers were prospectively enrolled. After PTCA, stenting was attempted in all eligible lesions (vessel size 3.0 to 4.0 mm; lesion length < or = 2 stents; and the absence of giant thrombus burden after PTCA, major side branch jeopardy or excessive proximal tortuosity or calcification). Patients with stents were treated with aspirin, ticlopidine and a 60-h tapering heparin regimen.
Results: Stenting was attempted in 240 (77%) of 312 patients, successfully in 236 (98%), with Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction grade 3 flow restored in 230 patients (96%). Patients with stents had low rates of in-hospital death (0.8%), reinfarction (1.7%), recurrent ischemia (3.8%) and predischarge target vessel revascularization for ischemia (1.3%). At 30-day follow-up, no additional deaths or reinfarctions occurred among patients with stents, and target vessel revascularization was required in only one additional patient (0.4%).
Conclusions: Primary stenting is safe and feasible in the majority of patients with AMI and results in excellent short-term outcomes.