Thrombus Aspiration in Patients With High Thrombus Burden in the TOTAL Trial Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Routine thrombus aspiration in patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) does not improve clinical outcomes. However, there is remaining uncertainty about the potential benefit in those patients with high thrombus burden, where there is a biological rationale for greater benefit. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefit of thrombus aspiration among STEMI patients with high thrombus burden. METHODS: TOTAL (ThrOmbecTomy with PCI vs. PCI ALone in patients with STEMI) was a randomized trial of routine manual thrombectomy versus PCI alone in patients with STEMI (n = 10,732). High thrombus burden (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction thrombus grade ≥3) was a pre-specified subgroup. RESULTS: The primary outcome of cardiovascular (CV) death, MI, cardiogenic shock, or heart failure was not different at 1 year with thrombus aspiration in patients with high thrombus burden (8.1% vs. 8.3% thrombus aspiration; hazard ratio [HR]: 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.84 to 1.13) or low thrombus burden (6.0% vs. 5.0% thrombus aspiration; HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 0.73 to 2.05; interaction p = 0.41). However, among patients with high thrombus burden, stroke at 30 days was more frequent with thrombus aspiration (31 [0.7%] thrombus aspiration vs. 16 [0.4%] PCI alone, HR: 1.90; 95% CI: 1.04 to 3.48). In the high thrombus burden group, thrombus aspiration did not significantly improve CV mortality at 30 days (HR: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.61 to 1.01; p = 0.06) and at 1 year (HR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.72 to 1.09; p = 0.25). Irrespective of treatment assignment, high thrombus burden was an independent predictor of death (HR: 1.78; 95% CI: 1.05 to 3.01). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with high thrombus burden, routine thrombus aspiration did not improve outcomes at 1 year and was associated with an increased rate of stroke. High thrombus burden is still an important predictor of outcome in STEMI. (A Trial of routine aspiration ThrOmbecTomy with PCI vs. PCI ALone in patients with STEMI [TOTAL]; NCT01149044).


  • Jolly, Sanjit
  • Cairns, John A
  • Lavi, Shahar
  • Cantor, Warren J
  • Bernat, Ivo
  • Cheema, Asim N
  • Moreno, Raul
  • Kedev, Sasko
  • Stankovic, Goran
  • Rao, Sunil V
  • Meeks, Brandi
  • Chowdhary, Saqib
  • Gao, Peggy
  • Sibbald, Matthew
  • Velianou, James L
  • Mehta, Shamir
  • Tsang, Michael
  • Sheth, Tej
  • Džavík, Vladimír

publication date

  • October 2018