Background — Although the use of an early invasive strategy among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI) who are treated initially with fibrinolytic therapy is common, the safety and efficacy of this approach remains uncertain. We performed a meta-analysis to best estimate the benefits and harms of an early invasive strategy in STEMI patients treated initially with full-dose intravenous fibrinolytic therapy, as compared to a traditional strategy of ischemia-guided management.
Methods — We included contemporary randomized controlled trials, defined a priori as those with >50% stent use during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Outcomes extracted from the published results of eligible trials included all-cause mortality, reinfarction, stroke, and in-hospital major bleeding.
Results — We identified 5 contemporary trials enrolling 1,235 patients who met our inclusion criteria. Of the patients randomized to an early invasive strategy, 86% underwent PCI with 87% receiving stents. Follow-up duration ranged from 30 days to 1 year. An early invasive strategy was associated with significant reductions in mortality (odds ratio [OR] 0.55, 95% CI 0.34-0.90) and reinfarction (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.33-0.86) compared with ischemia-guided management. There were no significant differences in the risk of stroke (OR 1.31, 95% CI 0.42-4.10) or major bleeding (OR 1.41, 95% CI 0.74-2.69).
Conclusions — An early invasive strategy after fibrinolytic therapy is associated with significant reductions in mortality and reinfarction. Our results suggest a potentially important role for this strategy in the management of STEMI patients but should be confirmed by large randomized trials.
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Coronary disease/Myocardial infarction