James M. Brophy, MD, PhD; Peter Bogaty, MD
Primary angioplasty is increasingly being advocated as the preferred approach for treating acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction regardless of whether interinstitutional transfer is required. This review critically analyzes the evidence comparing primary angioplasty with thrombolytic therapy and concludes that reasonable health care professionals may still find considerable uncertainty about the superiority of primary angioplasty for all situations. The magnitude of benefit for primary angioplasty over thrombolysis is probably less than 1 to 2 lives saved/100 patients treated and largely depends on the choice of thrombolytic agent, time to treatment, place of treatment, and adjunctive therapy. There is little evidence that systematically transferring patients for primary angioplasty in routine practice will provide any health benefits over thrombolysis. Consequently, it may be most useful to view these treatments as complementary rather than competitive. Thrombolysis remains a clinically and economically attractive option for the treatment of acute myocardial infarction that does not require the radical restructuring of our health care systems.
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Brophy JM, Bogaty P. Primary Angioplasty and Thrombolysis Are Both Reasonable Options in Acute Myocardial Infarction. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141:292-297. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-141-4-200408170-00009
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(4):292-297.
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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