Paul W. Armstrong, MD; William E. Boden, MD
A transformation in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) care in the United States has unfolded. It asserts superior reperfusion with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) over fibrinolysis on the basis of studies showing the former method to be superior for reperfusion of patients with STEMI. Although clear benefit has resulted from national programs directed toward achieving shorter times to PPCI in facilities with around-the-clock access, most patients present to non-PPCI hospitals. Because delay to PPCI for most patients with STEMI presenting to non-PPCI centers remains outside current guidelines, many are denied benefit from pharmacologic therapy. This article describes why this approach creates a treatment paradox in which more effort to improve treatment for patients with PPCI for acute STEMI often leads to unnecessary avoidance and delay in the use of fibrinolysis. Recent evidence confirms the unfavorable consequences of delay to PPCI and that early prehospital fibrinolysis combined with strategic mechanical co-interventions affords excellent outcomes. The authors believe it is time to embrace an integrated dual reperfusion strategy to best serve all patients with STEMI.
Armstrong PW, Boden WE. Reperfusion Paradox in ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. Ann Intern Med. ;155:389–391. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-6-201109200-00008
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(6):389-391.
Acute Coronary Syndromes, Cardiology, Coronary Heart Disease, Emergency Medicine.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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