The challenge of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.

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The challenge of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.

Int J Clin Pract. 2007 Dec;61(12):2079-92

Authors: Cohen M, Roubin G, Kuepper F

BACKGROUND/INTRODUCTION: Acute coronary syndromes (ACS) represent a spectrum of ischaemic myocardial events that share a similar pathophysiology. ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most severe form of ACS short of sudden cardiac death, is a significant public health problem with an estimated 500,000 STEMI events every year in the United States. TREATMENT/THERAPY: The mortality and morbidity associated with STEMI is significant. Early reperfusion therapy is the most important aspect of the treatment of STEMI. There are two main methods of reperfusion therapy: percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and fibrinolytic therapy, with PCI being the preferred method. In addition to standard reperfusion therapy, antithrombotics (unfractionated heparin and low molecular weight heparins) and antiplatelet agents (aspirin, clopidogrel and glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors) are critical adjuncts, effective in the treatment of acute STEMI. CONCLUSIONS: The survival of patients with STEMI depends on rapid diagnosis and optimal early treatment. Guidelines for the management of patients with STEMI recommend PCI within 90 min of presentation and that fibrinolytics are administered within 30 min. However, only a fraction of patients undergo reperfusion within the recommended time. Improvements in protocols for identifying STEMI cases are therefore required to allow reperfusion therapy to be initiated sooner. Secondary prevention is another important aspect of STEMI management, and patients should be encouraged to adopt strategies that reduce the risk of subsequent ischaemic events.

PMID: 17941831 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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