Time to reperfusion in acute myocardial infarction. It is time to reduce it!
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Mortality from ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction remains high, with most deaths occurring before hospital admission. Despite effective pre- and in-hospital reperfusion strategies becoming standard over the past 2 decades, time-to-admission and time-to-treatment remain prolonged. We reviewed temporal trends in these times in published clinical trials. METHODS: All major randomized clinical trials reporting on reperfusion strategies for acute myocardial infarction published between 1993 and 2003 were evaluated. Strategies included pre- and in-hospital thrombolysis, primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI) with or without transfer, and "facilitated" PCI. We generated overall estimates of time-to-admission, time-to-treatment, door-to-balloon (DTB), and door-to-needle (DTN) times and evaluated temporal trends in the length of time-to-admission and time-to-treatment. RESULTS: In studies that evaluated only in-hospital thrombolysis, the time-to-admission was 149 +/- 45 minutes; the mean time-to-treatment was 181 +/- 29 minutes. In studies that considered only in-hospital pPCI (without transfer), the mean time-to-admission was 153 +/- 41 minutes; the mean time-to-treatment was 234 +/- 43 minutes. In studies that compared in-hospital pPCI with in-hospital thrombolytic therapy, the mean time-to-admission was 155 +/- 47 and 150 +/- 48 minutes, respectively. The DTN time was 65 +/- 10 minutes, whereas DTB time was 81 +/- 39 minutes. In other trials evaluating in-hospital thrombolysis and pPCI with transfer to a referral center, the time-to-admission in subjects treated with thrombolysis (n = 1345) was 127 +/- 32 minutes vs 131 +/- 36 minutes for pPCI (n = 1528). For in-hospital thrombolysis, time-to-treatment was 151 +/- 23 minutes vs 203 +/- 15 minutes for pPCI patients with transfer. The DTN time in the thrombolysis group was 44 +/- 28 minutes as compared with DTB time of 78 +/- 38 minutes in the pPCI group. Throughout the last decade, time-to-admission decreased significantly (P = .02) but time-to-treatment remained unchanged (P = .38) for patients undergoing thrombolysis. In the pPCI arm, time-to-admission remained unchanged (P = .11) but a insignificant trend toward reduction was demonstrated in time-to-treatment (P = .11). CONCLUSION: Time-to-admission and time-to-treatment for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction are still prolonged. Resources should be directed to early recognition of the acute myocardial infarction, improved utilization of emergency services for transportation, and prehospital diagnosis and triaging. Ambulances equipped with wireless capability to transmit electrocardiograms to the on-call cardiologist seem to be promising tools to achieve earlier diagnosis and triaging with high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity.
Barbagelata, A; Perna, ER; Clemmensen, P; Uretsky, BF; Canella, JPC; Califf, RM; Granger, CB; Adams, GL; Merla, R; Birnbaum, Y
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