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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 1999 June;47(6):203-12


language: Italian

The results of large clinical trials comparing primary angioplasty and thrombolysis

Stazi F., Verde M., Stazi C.


One of the main cardiological debate is about which one, between primary angioplasty (PTCA) and thrombolysis, is to prefer for the therapy of acute myocardial infarction. The data available in the literature do not show that one of these two therapeutical choices is definitely better than the other one. Since the main therapeutical goal in patients with acute myocardial infarction is the early and persisting recovery of the anterograde coronary flow, the best therapy for every patient is the one that can be performed more quickly and safely. Therefore, PTCA has to be preferred whenever it can be done quickly, by expert personnel and with cardiosurgical support, expecially in patients considered to be at high risk or with contraindications to thrombolysis. Otherwise, thrombolytic therapy should be better. Stent implantation seems to be better than conventional angioplasty, in particular for the reduction of restenosis and reocclusion. These conclusions, however, derive from small studies and require further evidences. Moreover, there are not trials directly comparing primary PTCA and stent implantation with thrombolysis. Rescue PTCA, after failure of thrombolytic therapy, is useful when the coronary flow of the culprit lesion is TIMI 0 or 1, but not when the flow is TIMI 2; there are neither indications to early, but not rescue, angioplasty in all the patients already thrombolyzed. Finally, for patients with acute myocardial infarction and cardiogenic shock, the data currently available, derived more from observational than from randomized studies, suggest revascularization by PTCA.

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