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      Update on the Management of Acute Coronary Syndromes

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          Abstract

          At present there is debate as to whether an invasive or a conservative strategy should form the basis of an optimal management strategy for unstable angina/non-Q wave myocardial infarction (UA/NQMI). However, these approaches are complementary, not necessarily mutually exclusive. On the basis of current evidence, all patients should receive optimized medical therapy, with surgical interventions targeted at high-risk patients, to improve both clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness. While standard antithrombotic combinations have improved short-term outcomes, they do not fully eliminate the risk of recurrent ischemic episodes. The recent introduction of direct thrombin inhibitors, platelet fibrinogen receptor antagonists and low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWHs) has offered an opportunity to develop more aggressive antithrombotic regimens. Enoxaparin, an LMWH, has demonstrated improved efficacy compared with standard heparin in both the acute and chronic phases of UA/NQMI, without an increase in major complications caused by bleeding. Further studies are justified to investigate the potential of combined antithrombotic regimens containing enoxaparin as an alternative to heparin in conservative strategies and as adjuncts to interventional procedures. Recommendations for the management of UA/NQMI should be continually reviewed in response to the impact of novel treatment modalities.

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          Most cited references 18

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          A comparison of balloon-expandable-stent implantation with balloon angioplasty in patients with coronary artery disease. Benestent Study Group.

          Balloon-expandable coronary-artery stents were developed to prevent coronary restenosis after coronary angioplasty. These devices hold coronary vessels open at sites that have been dilated. However, it is unknown whether stenting improves long-term angiographic and clinical outcomes as compared with standard balloon angioplasty. A total of 520 patients with stable angina and a single coronary-artery lesion were randomly assigned to either stent implantation (262 patients) or standard balloon angioplasty (258 patients). The primary clinical end points were death, the occurrence of a cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, the need for coronary-artery bypass surgery, or a second percutaneous intervention involving the previously treated lesion, either at the time of the initial procedure or during the subsequent seven months. The primary angiographic end point was the minimal luminal diameter at follow-up, as determined by quantitative coronary angiography. After exclusions, 52 patients in the stent group (20 percent) and 76 patients in the angioplasty group (30 percent) reached a primary clinical end point (relative risk, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.50 to 0.92; P = 0.02). The difference in clinical-event rates was explained mainly by a reduced need for a second coronary angioplasty in the stent group (relative risk, 0.58; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.40 to 0.85; P = 0.005). The mean (+/- SD) minimal luminal diameters immediately after the procedure were 2.48 +/- 0.39 mm in the stent group and 2.05 +/- 0.33 mm in the angioplasty group; at follow-up, the diameters were 1.82 +/- 0.64 mm in the stent group and 1.73 +/- 0.55 mm in the angioplasty group (P = 0.09), which correspond to rates of restenosis (diameter of stenosis, > or = 50 percent) of 22 and 32 percent, respectively (P = 0.02). Peripheral vascular complications necessitating surgery, blood transfusion, or both were more frequent after stenting than after balloon angioplasty (13.5 vs. 3.1 percent, P < 0.001). The mean hospital stay was significantly longer in the stent group than in the angioplasty group (8.5 vs. 3.1 days, P < 0.001). Over seven months of follow-up, the clinical and angiographic outcomes were better in patients who received a stent than in those who received standard coronary angioplasty. However, this benefit was achieved at the cost of a significantly higher risk of vascular complications at the access site and a longer hospital stay.
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            A randomized comparison of coronary-stent placement and balloon angioplasty in the treatment of coronary artery disease. Stent Restenosis Study Investigators.

            Coronary-stent placement is a new technique in which a balloon-expandable, stainless-steel, slotted tube is implanted at the site of a coronary stenosis. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of stent placement and standard balloon angioplasty on angiographically detected restenosis and clinical outcomes. We randomly assigned 410 patients with symptomatic coronary disease to elective placement of a Palmaz-Schatz stent or to standard balloon angioplasty. Coronary angiography was performed at base line, immediately after the procedure, and six months later. The patients who underwent stenting had a higher rate of procedural success than those who underwent standard balloon angioplasty (96.1 percent vs. 89.6 percent, P = 0.011), a larger immediate increase in the diameter of the lumen (1.72 +/- 0.46 vs. 1.23 +/- 0.48 mm, P < 0.001), and a larger luminal diameter immediately after the procedure (2.49 +/- 0.43 vs. 1.99 +/- 0.47 mm, P < 0.001). At six months, the patients with stented lesions continued to have a larger luminal diameter (1.74 +/- 0.60 vs. 1.56 +/- 0.65 mm, P = 0.007) and a lower rate of restenosis (31.6 percent vs. 42.1 percent, P = 0.046) than those treated with balloon angioplasty. There were no coronary events (death; myocardial infarction; coronary-artery bypass surgery; vessel closure, including stent thrombosis; or repeated angioplasty) in 80.5 percent of the patients in the stent group and 76.2 percent of those in the angioplasty group (P = 0.16). Revascularization of the original target lesion because of recurrent myocardial ischemia was performed less frequently in the stent group than in the angioplasty group (10.2 percent vs. 15.4 percent, P = 0.06). In selected patients, placement of an intracoronary stent, as compared with balloon angioplasty, results in an improved rate of procedural success, a lower rate of angiographically detected restenosis, a similar rate of clinical events after six months, and a less frequent need for revascularization of the original coronary lesion.
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              Inhibition of platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa with eptifibatide in patients with acute coronary syndromes. The PURSUIT Trial Investigators. Platelet Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa in Unstable Angina: Receptor Suppression Using Integrilin Therapy.

              (1998)
              Aggregation of platelets is the pathophysiologic basis of the acute coronary syndromes. Eptifibatide, a synthetic cyclic heptapeptide, is a selective high-affinity inhibitor of the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor, which is involved in platelet aggregation. We tested the hypothesis that inhibition of platelet aggregation with eptifibatide would have an incremental benefit beyond that of heparin and aspirin in reducing the frequency of adverse outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes who did not have persistent ST-segment elevation. Patients who had presented with ischemic chest pain within the previous 24 hours and who had either electrocardiographic changes indicative of ischemia (but not persistent ST-segment elevation) or high serum concentrations of creatine kinase MB isoenzymes were enrolled in the study. They were randomly assigned, in a double-blind manner, to receive a bolus and infusion of either eptifibatide or placebo, in addition to standard therapy, for up to 72 hours (or up to 96 hours, if coronary intervention was performed near the end of the 72-hour period). The primary end point was a composite of death and nonfatal myocardial infarction occurring up to 30 days after the index event. A total of 10,948 patients were enrolled between November 1995 and January 1997. As compared with the placebo group, the eptifibatide group had a 1.5 percent absolute reduction in the incidence of the primary end point (14.2 percent, vs. 15.7 percent in the placebo group; P=0.04). The benefit was apparent by 96 hours and persisted through 30 days. The effect was consistent in most major subgroups except for women (odds ratios for death or nonfatal myocardial infarction, 0.8 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.7 to 0.9] in men, and 1.1 [0.9 to 1.31 in women). Bleeding was more common in the eptifibatide group, although there was no increase in the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke. Inhibition of platelet aggregation with eptifibatide reduced the incidence of the composite end point of death or nonfatal myocardial infarction in patients with acute coronary syndromes who did not have persistent ST-segment elevation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CRD
                Cardiology
                10.1159/issn.0008-6312
                Cardiology
                S. Karger AG
                0008-6312
                1421-9751
                2000
                September 2000
                02 October 2000
                : 93
                : 4
                : 210-219
                Affiliations
                Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa., USA
                Article
                7029 Cardiology 2000;93:210–219
                10.1159/000007029
                11025346
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 54, Pages: 10
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