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Early PCI better than conservative treatment for heart attack patients in remote areas

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

When heart attacks strike individuals in rural areas, thrombolysis followed by immediate transfer for angiography is a better treatment strategy than thrombolysis followed by conservative, community-hospital follow-up. The 266-patient NORDISTEMI trial, presented at the ESC meeting, studied the effect of early percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) after fibrinolysis in heart attack patients resident in areas of Norway 100-400km from the nearest PCI centre. It took around 130 minutes to get the patients to these centres. A composite of death, recurrence of heart attack or stroke at 12 months was significantly reduced in the early invasive group compared to the conservative group, the trial showed.

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