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Eur Heart J. 2006 Jul;27(13):1530-8. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

A comparison of pharmacologic therapy with/without timely coronary intervention vs. primary percutaneous intervention early after ST-elevation myocardial infarction: the WEST (Which Early ST-elevation myocardial infarction Therapy) study.

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  • 1Canadian VIGOUR Centre, 2-51 Medical Sciences Building, University of Alberta Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H7.



Uncertainty exists as to which reperfusion strategy for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (MI) is optimal. We evaluated whether optimal pharmacologic therapy at the earliest point of care, emphasizing pre-hospital randomization and treatment was non-inferior to expeditious primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


Which Early ST-elevation myocardial infarction Therapy (WEST) was a four-city Canadian, open-label, randomized, feasibility study of 304 STEMI patients (> 4 mm ST-elevation/deviation) within 6 h of symptom onset, emphasizing pre-hospital ambulance treatment and participation of community and tertiary care centres. All received aspirin, subcutaneous enoxaparin (1 mg/kg), and were randomized to one of three groups: (A) tenecteplase (TNK) and usual care, (B) TNK and mandatory invasive study < or = 24 h, including rescue PCI for reperfusion failure, and (C) primary PCI with 300 mg loading dose of clopidogrel. Time from symptom onset to treatment was rapid (to TNK for A = 113 and B = 130 min and for PCI in C = 176 min). The primary outcome, a composite of 30-day death, re-infarction, refractory ischaemia, congestive heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and major ventricular arrhythmia, was 25% (Group A), 24% (Group B), and 23% (Group C), respectively. However, there was a higher frequency of the combination of death and recurrent MI in Group A vs. Group C (13.0 vs. 4.0%, respectively, P-logrank = 0.021), yet no difference between Group B (6.7%, P-logrank = 0.378) and C.


These data suggest that a contemporary pharmacologic regimen rapidly delivered, coupled with a strategy of regimented rescue and routine coronary intervention within 24 h of initial treatment, may not be different from timely expert PCI.

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