The Role of Manual Aspiration Thrombectomy in Patients Undergoing Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention for STEMI
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In STEMI, primary PCI restores macrovascular coronary blood flow effectively but microvascular perfusion remains a challenge. Thrombus has the potential to embolize to the microvasculature limiting effective coronary blood flow. Thrombus burden is associated with a higher mortality and manual aspiration thrombectomy has the potential to reduce thrombus burden. The first large trial of routine aspiration thrombectomy (TAPAS, N = 1071) showed an improvement in myocardial blush and an unexpected reduction in mortality. Reinforcing the enthusiasm for this finding meta-analysis of small trials also showed a reduction in mortality, which led to routine manual thrombectomy becoming a class IIa recommendation in the American and European Guidelines for STEMI. Subsequently; however, large trials such as TOTAL (N = 10,732) and TASTE (N = 7244) and meta-analysis showed an increase in the risk of stroke with routine manual thrombectomy but no improvement in mortality, myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis, or severe heart failure. As such, manual thrombectomy should not be routinely used instead saving it as a bailout procedure as indicated.
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