de Lemos, J. A., Gibson, C. M., Antman, E. M., Murphy, S. A., Morrow, D. A., Schuhwerk, K. C., Schweiger, M., Coussement, P., Van de Werf, F., Braunwald, E. Abciximab and early adjunctive percutaneous coronary intervention are associated with improved ST-segment resolution after thrombolysis: Observations from the TIMI 14 Trial Am Heart J. 2001;141(4):592-8.

BACKGROUND: Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) improves clinical outcomes in selected patients with failed thrombolysis but has not been proven to benefit patients who achieve a patent infarct-related artery. Even after successful epicardial reperfusion, myocardial perfusion may be inadequate. We sought to evaluate whether a strategy that uses a reperfusion regimen containing abciximab and a reduced-dose thrombolytic agent (combination therapy), followed by early adjunctive PCI, would result in improved myocardial perfusion, as assessed by ST-segment resolution.

METHODS: ST resolution from 90 to 180 minutes after therapy was calculated for all 410 patients from the TIMI 14 trial who had evaluable electrocardiograms at both time points and who were treated with alteplase or reteplase. Patients were grouped according to whether they were treated with combination therapy or full-dose thrombolytic agent alone and whether they underwent PCI between the 90- and 180-minute electrocardiographic measurements.

RESULTS: Among 105 patients who underwent adjunctive PCI between 90 and 180 minutes, mean ST resolution from 90 to 180 minutes was significantly greater in those who had received combination therapy versus those who had received full-dose thrombolytic alone (54% vs 8%; P =.002). Among 241 patients with TIMI grade 3 flow in the infarct-related artery at 90 minutes, adjunctive PCI significantly improved mean ST resolution in patients who had been treated with combination therapy (57% [PCI] vs 24% [no PCI]; P =.006), but PCI did not have this effect in patients who had received thrombolytic therapy alone (1% [PCI] vs 10% [no PCI]; P =.70). In a multivariate model controlling for factors that would be expected to independently influence 90- to 180-minute ST resolution, abciximab treatment remained significantly associated with greater ST resolution (P =.008).

CONCLUSIONS: A strategy that uses a combination reperfusion regimen that includes abciximab, followed by early adjunctive PCI, is associated with greater ST-segment resolution, which may reflect enhanced tissue level and microvascular perfusion. Future studies should evaluate prospectively the clinical efficacy of this strategy.

Trial: TIMI 14