29 September 2006
Background/Aims:A large proportion of patients with a ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome do not receive reperfusion therapy. In order to contribute to a better understanding of the clinical decision making process, we analyzed which factors are associated with the application of reperfusion therapy. Methods: From the Euro Heart Survey of Acute Coronary Syndromes I, 4,260 patients with ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome were selected for the current analysis, of which 1,539 (36%) patients received fibrinolysis and 904 (21%) primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The analysis contained 32 variables on demographics, medical history, admission parameters and reperfusion therapy. Results: A short pre-hospital delay, arrival in a hospital with PCI facilities, severe ST-elevation, and participation in a clinical trial were the strongest predictors for receiving reperfusion therapy. Primary PCI was more likely to be performed than fibrinolysis in patients with a long pre-hospital delay, arriving in a hospital with PCI facilities, not participating in a clinical trial, and with at least one previous PCI. Conclusion:Hospital facilities and culture, pre-hospital delay and infarction size play a major role in management decisions regarding reperfusion therapy in ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome. This analysis indicates which factors require special attention when implementing and reviewing the reperfusion guidelines.