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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2012 December;103(6):431-9

language: English

Reperfusion therapy in ST-elevation myocardial infarction: guidelines, strategies, pharmacology, and stent selection

Ghosh B. D., Swaminathan R. V., Kim L. K., Feldman D. N.

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Department of Medicine, Greenberg Division of Cardiology, New York, NY, USA


Treatment of acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has rapidly evolved with many advances made in the past decade. Percutaneous coronary intervention is the preferred strategy when available, although there remains a role for thrombolytic therapy, with prompt reperfusion as the primary goal. With regards to antithrombotic therapy, bivalirudin now has a significant role in STEMI care with improved outcomes over unfractionated heparin plus GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors. Dual antiplatelet therapy has become a mainstay of treatment with combination of aspirin and clopidogrel, as well as an expanding role of more potent novel agents, prasugrel and ticagrelor. In primary PCI in STEMI, coronary stents are now being used routinely, although short-term and long-term outcomes of drug-eluting stents (DES) versus bare metal stents (BMS) continue to be studied. Recent meta-analyses have examined the trade-off of lower rates of in-stent restenosis and need for target vessel revascularization with DES versus the potential increase in the risk of stent thrombosis and need for longer course of dual antiplatelet therapy. This review will discuss the current STEMI guidelines and strategies, recent advances in pharmacotherapy, and data on stent selection.

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