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Am J Cardiol. 2005 Jun 15;95(12):1397-403.

Relation of timing of cardiac catheterization to outcomes in patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction or unstable angina pectoris enrolled in the multinational global registry of acute coronary events.

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Institut de Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Pitié-Salptrière, Paris, France.


We assessed whether timing of catheterization is associated with the type of non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome and/or outcome in patients who were enrolled in the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events. Overall, 8,853 patients who had unstable angina pectoris or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction were categorized according to timing of catheterization: expeditive (<24 hours), early (24 to 48 hours), and delayed (>48 hours). Patients in the delayed group were older, more frequently had previous myocardial infarction or stroke, and had a higher risk score compared with those in the expeditive and early groups (all p < or =0.001). Killip class IV at admission, non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, and Q waves after the index electrocardiogram were more common in the expeditive group (all p <0.0001). Patients in the expeditive and early groups were treated more aggressively with medications than were those in the delayed group. The in-hospital composite end point (death, stroke, or major bleed) occurred most frequently in the expeditive group (expeditive 6.6%, early 3.9%, delayed 5.1%, p = 0.0005), as did in-hospital death (expeditive 3.5%, early 1.4%, delayed 2.0%, p <0.0001). The highest incidence of death during follow-up occurred in the delayed group (3.8% delayed vs 2.8% expeditive/early, p = 0.0210). Multivariate regression analysis suggested that expeditive catheterization was related to in-hospital death and death from time of catheterization to 6 months. We conclude that expeditive catheterization is associated with unstable presenting features that contribute significantly to the higher risk of death and death or myocardial infarction in hospital compared with patients who undergo later catheterization.

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