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JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2008 Aug;1(4):424-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2008.06.004.

Upfront thrombus aspiration in primary coronary intervention for patients with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction: report of the VAMPIRE (VAcuuM asPIration thrombus REmoval) trial.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Japan.



This study evaluated safety and efficacy of upfront thrombus aspiration during primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).


Distal embolization during primary PCI results in reduced myocardial perfusion and poor clinical outcomes.


The VAMPIRE (VAcuuM asPIration thrombus REmoval) study was a prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter trial conducted in 23 institutions. Patients (N = 355) presenting within 24 h of STEMI symptoms onset were randomized to primary PCI with (n = 180) or without (n = 175) upfront thrombus aspiration using Nipro's TransVascular Aspiration Catheter (Osaka, Japan).


The TransVascular Aspiration Catheter reached the lesion in 100% of cases. It successfully crossed the target obstruction in 86% without any delay in procedure time or time to reperfusion; whereas macroscopic thrombi were removed in 75% of the cases. Procedure success was similar between groups (98.9% vs. 98.3%). There was a trend toward lower incidence of slow or no reflow (primary end point-defined as a Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade <3) in patients treated with aspiration versus conventional primary PCI (12.4% vs. 19.4%, p = 0.07). Rate of myocardial blush grade 3 was higher in the aspiration group (46.0% vs. 20.5%, p < 0.001). Aspiration was most effective in patients presenting after 6 h of symptoms onset (slow flow rate: 8.1% vs. 37.6%, p = 0.01).


This study suggested the safety of primary PCI with upfront thrombectomy using a novel device in patients with STEMI. The study showed a trend toward improved myocardial perfusion and lower clinical events in patients treated with aspiration. Patients presenting late after STEMI appear to benefit the most from thrombectomy.

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