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Is PCI Safe, Effective After Clot-Busters for Heart Attack?
Date:3/30/2008

Largest-ever study re-evaluates this important question with today's

technology

CHICAGO, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) -- which uses a combination of catheter-mounted balloons and stents to open a completely blocked coronary artery and restore blood flow to the heart -- is the best treatment for heart attack when performed rapidly. However, few hospitals can meet the 90-minute treatment goal unless they have a cardiac catheterization laboratory on site.

A new study is expected to shed light on whether patients who are first treated with clot-busting drugs should be routinely transferred to a medical center with a cardiac catheterization laboratory for follow-up PCI, or be observed for an hour or more and sent for PCI only if clot-busting drugs fail, the standard approach today.

The study -- the Trial of Routine Angioplasty and Stenting After Fibrinolysis to Enhance Reperfusion in Acute Myocardial Infarction (TRANSFER-AMI) -- is being reported today in a Late-Breaking Clinical Trials session at the SCAI Annual Scientific Sessions in Partnership with ACC i2 Summit (SCAI-ACCi2) in Chicago. SCAI-ACCi2 is a scientific meeting for practicing cardiovascular interventionalists sponsored by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) in partnership with the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

Early studies in the 1980s showed that performing PCI after treating patients with clot-busting drugs -- also known as thrombolytic or fibrinolytic agents -- offered no benefit and might even be harmful. Since then, however, thrombolytic medications have changed, stents are routinely used, and interventional cardiologists have refined protocols for delivering newer anti-clotting medications.

"There's good reason to believe that performing PCI after thrombolytic therapy is safer and more effective now than in previous studies," said Warren J. Cantor,
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SOURCE SCAI-ACCi2
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