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Am Heart J. 2011 Feb;161(2):283-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2010.10.033.

The influence of time from symptom onset and reperfusion strategy on 1-year survival in ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a pooled analysis of an early fibrinolytic strategy versus primary percutaneous coronary intervention from CAPTIM and WEST.

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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.



The CAPTIM trial suggested a survival benefit of prehospital fibrinolysis (FL) compared to primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) with a presentation delay of <2 hours. We examined the relationship between reperfusion strategy and time from symptom onset on 1-year mortality in a combined analysis of 1,168 patients with STEMI.


Individual patient data from CAPTIM (n = 840, 1997-2000) and the more recent WEST trial (n = 328, 2003-2005) were pooled.


Median age was 58 years, 81% were men, and 41% had anterior myocardial infarction; 640 patients were randomized to FL versus 528 patients to PCI. Both arms received contemporary adjunctive medical therapy. Presentation delay (ie, symptom onset to randomization) was similar in FL and PCI patients (median 105 [72-158] vs 106 [74-162] minutes, P = .712). Rescue PCI after FL occurred in 26% and 27%, and 30-day PCI, in 70% and 71% in CAPTIM and WEST, respectively. Mortality was not different between FL and PCI (4.6% vs 6.5%, P = .263); however, the interaction between presentation delay and treatment was significant (P = .043). Benefit with FL was observed with time <2 hours (2.8% [FL] vs 6.9% [PCI], P = .021, hazard ratio [HR] 0.43, 95% CI 0.20-0.91), whereas beyond 2 hours, no treatment difference was observed (6.9% [FL] vs 6.0% [PCI], P = .529, HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.61-2.46).


A strategy of early FL demonstrated a reduction in 1-year mortality compared to primary PCI in early presenters. Time from symptom onset should be a key consideration when selecting reperfusion therapy for STEMI.


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