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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Jun 2;43(11):1943-50.

Primary angioplasty in acute myocardial infarction at hospitals with no surgery on-site (the PAMI-No SOS study) versus transfer to surgical centers for primary angioplasty.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Exeter Hospital, Exeter, New Hampshire, USA.



To investigate primary angioplasty (PA) for high-risk acute myocardial infarction (AMI) at hospitals with no cardiac surgery on-site (No SOS), we hypothesized that a nonrandomized registry of such patients treated with PA would show clinical outcomes similar to those of a group randomized to transfer for PA, and that reperfusion would occur faster.


Primary angioplasty provides outcomes superior to fibrinolytic therapy in AMI, but its use in community hospitals with No SOS has been limited.


Fibrinolytic-eligible patients with high-risk AMI prospectively consented if they had one or more high-risk characteristic. Nineteen hospitals with No SOS prospectively enrolled 500 patients for PA on-site. Seventy-one similar Air Primary Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction trial patients were randomized to transfer for PA.


Primary angioplasty was performed in 88% of patients. Patients transferred for PA had a longer mean time to treatment (187 vs. 120 min; p < 0.0001). Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) flow grade 3 was achieved in 96% for on-site PA, 86% in the transfer group (p = 0.004). The combined primary end point of 30-day mortality, re-infarction, and disabling stroke occurred in 27 (5%) on-site PA patients and 6 (8.5%) transfer patients (p = 0.27). Unadjusted one-year mortality was improved in on-site PA patients compared with those transferred (6% vs. 13%, p = 0.043), but after adjustment for differences in baseline variables, this difference was not significant.


On-site PA and transfer groups had similar 30-day outcomes and more rapid reperfusion for on-site PA. Primary angioplasty in high-risk AMI patients at hospitals with No SOS is safe, effective, and faster than PA after transfer to a surgical facility.

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