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Eur Heart J. 2011 Jan;32(1):32-40. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq276. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Optimal timing of coronary angiography and potential intervention in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes.

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Department of Cardiology, Athens Euroclinic, 9 Athanassiadou Str., Athens, Greece.



An invasive approach is superior to medical management for the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes without ST-segment elevation (NSTE-ACS), but the optimal timing of coronary angiography and subsequent intervention, if indicated, has not been settled.


We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized trials addressing the optimal timing (early vs. delayed) of coronary angiography in NSTE-ACS. Four trials with 4013 patients were eligible (ABOARD, ELISA, ISAR-COOL, TIMACS), and data for longer follow-up periods than those published became available for this meta-analysis by the ELISA and ISAR-COOL investigators. The median time from admission or randomization to coronary angiography ranged from 1.16 to 14 h in the early and 20.8-86 h in the delayed strategy group. No statistically significant difference of risk of death [random effects risk ratio (RR) 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64-1.11] or myocardial infarction (MI) (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.61-1.45) was detected between the two strategies. Early intervention significantly reduced the risk for recurrent ischaemia (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.38-0.92, P = 0.02) and the duration of hospital stay (by 28%, 95% CI 22-35%, P < 0.001). Furthermore, decreased major bleeding events (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.57-1.07, P = 0.13), and less major events (death, MI, or stroke) (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.82-1.01, P = 0.09) were observed with the early strategy but these differences were not nominally significant.


Early coronary angiography and potential intervention reduces the risk of recurrent ischaemia, and shortens hospital stay in patients with NSTE-ACS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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