Optimizing the Use of Abciximab and Intracoronary Stents in Patients with Acute ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction
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Acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease. Reperfusion therapy, either with thrombolytic agents or primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is the mainstay of therapy. Worldwide, systemic thrombolysis is the more commonly utilized reperfusion strategy, although an increasing number undergo primary PCI. PCI techniques and adjuvant therapies are evolving. Stents appear to be more useful than thrombolytic therapy or PTCA in acute AMI, especially in decreasing the need for subsequent target lesion revascularization. In patients with STEMI, administration of abciximab with stent placement decreased the primary endpoint [composite of major adverse cardiac events (death, reinfarction, urgent TVR)] by over 50% at 30 days in the Abciximab before Direct angioplasty and stenting in acute Myocardial Infarction Regarding Acute and Long-term follow-up (ADMIRAL) trial, and the benefit appeared to be maintained at 6 months. Despite these promising results, administration of abciximab with a stent did not afford greater benefit over stent alone in the Controlled Abciximab and Device Investigation to Lower Late Angioplasty Complications (CADILLAC) trial. The apparent lack of benefit with abciximab in the CADILLAC trial may be explained by the fact that this trial was not powered to detect differences in mortality and enrolled patients were selected after angiography, and were thus at lower risk. The adjuvant therapies of intracoronary stents and abciximab are becoming the standard of care, based on multiple studies. Stent placement during STEMI decreases the risk of restenosis and TVR. Treatment with abciximab may reduce the risk of acute adverse events in the short term.