Adjunctive pharmacologic agents and mechanical devices in primary percutaneous coronary intervention
Adjunctive pharmacologic agents and mechanical devices in primary percutaneous coronary intervention.
Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) has been shown to be superior to throm-bolysis in patients presenting with ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) in reducing death, stroke and re-infarction. However, bleeding and thrombotic complications can occur despite successful PPCI and slow flow/no-reflow or poor microvascular reperfusion can occur in a significant minority despite a technically successful procedure. Bleeding or need for peri-procedural transfusion has been shown to increase short- and long-term mortality. Newer anticoagulants appear to reduce the bleeding risk and improve overall clinical outcomes. A novel combination of antiplatelet agents also appears to further improve the outcomes after PPCI. Although PPCI can achieve high rates of epicardial artery patency, some patients experience suboptimal microvascular perfusion, which affects long-term prognosis. Several pharmacologic agents have been shown to improve microvascular perfusion and left ventricular function, although none impacts on clinical outcomes. Of the mechanical devices available to reduce distal embolisation, the simple aspiration catheter holds the most promise in reducing clinical adverse events. Additional research and well designed studies are needed to further enhance the outcomes after PPCI.