McKendall, G. R., Forman, S., Sopko, G., Braunwald, E., Williams, D. O. Value of rescue percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty following unsuccessful thrombolytic therapy in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction Investigators American Journal of Cardiology. 1995;76(16):1108-11.

Rescue percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) has been advocated as a mechanical method to achieve reperfusion in instances where the myocardial infarct artery remains occluded after thrombolytic therapy. Most prior reports of rescue PTCA have been observational and analyses of value have been inconclusive. To evaluate the benefit of rescue PTCA, we studied 133 patients enrolled in the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction Phase I Open Label and Phase II trials who had an occluded infarct-related artery after thrombolytic therapy. According to protocol, 100 consecutive patients had no rescue PTCA performed (no rescue group), and 33 consecutive patients underwent protocol-directed rescue PTCA (rescue group). The 2 cohorts were compared for clinical and angiographic outcome. Baseline characteristics of the 2 groups were similar. Rescue PTCA was attempted in each rescue group patient and was successful in 82%. At 21 days the mortality rate was 12% in the rescue group and 7% in the no rescue group (p = NS). Failed rescue PTCA was associated with a mortality of 33%. Reinfarction occurred in 6% of patients in the rescue group, and in 5% of those in the no rescue group (p = NS). At 21 days, mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 51 +/- 13% in the rescue group and 48 +/- 12% in the no rescue group (p = NS). We conclude that the routine use of rescue PTCA does not appear to offer significant benefit beyond that of contemporary medical therapy after thrombolytic failure.

Trial: TIMI 1