Research: Improving treatment of patients with heart attack

June 25, 2009,

When faced with patients suffering a heart attack, doctors have two choices: inject them with medication to dissolve the blood clot (fibrinolytic therapy) or insert a small balloon to open the blocked artery (primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)).

Guidelines for treating heart attacks are generally based on clinical trials that do not take "real-life" conditions into account. The latest study by Dr. Thao Huynh of the Research Institute of the MUHC analyses these gaps and provides potential solutions to improve of heart attack. Her article was published in the June 23rd issue of Circulation.

In this study, Dr. Huynh compares the results of 23 randomized controlled trials conducted under controlled experimental conditions, with the results of 32 observational studies reporting on the treatment of with heart attacks in routine clinical conditions.

Both types of studies show the superiority of PCI over fibrinolytic therapy in reducing mortality and the risk of further episodes of and stroke over the short term. However, the advantage of PCI is even more apparent in randomized controlled trials where delays in providing primary PCI are shorter than in routine clinical conditions.

"This study indeed demonstrates that we have to work to reduce these delays if we are to maximize the effectiveness of PCI," explained Dr. Huynh. "When it comes to treating heart attack, reducing delays in providing treatment is the number one priority. It is also essential that patients with symptoms of heart attack seek prompt medical attention. Delays by patients to seek medical attention may further increase delays to treatment of heart attack. "

Analysis of randomized controlled trials shows that primary PCI also reduces long-term mortality and repeat heart attack. However, this long-term benefit of primary PCI is not observed in observational studies where patients receive treatment within routine clinical conditions.

"The benefit of primary PCI can be lost over the long term if patients are not receiving optimal medical therapy after discharge from hospital. These medications are essential to prevent repeat ." warned Dr. Huynh.

Source: McGill University (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Fabric imbued with optical fibers helps fight skin diseases

February 23, 2018
A team of researchers with Texinov Medical Textiles in France has announced that their PHOS-ISTOS system, called the Fluxmedicare, is on track to be made commercially available later this year. The system consists of a piece ...

DNA gets away: Scientists catch the rogue molecule that can trigger autoimmunity

February 22, 2018
A research team has discovered the process - and filmed the actual moment - that can change the body's response to a dying cell. Importantly, what they call the 'Great Escape' moment may one day prove to be the crucial trigger ...

Low-calorie diet enhances intestinal regeneration after injury

February 22, 2018
Dramatic calorie restriction, diets reduced by 40 percent of a normal calorie total, have long been known to extend health span, the duration of disease-free aging, in animal studies, and even to extend life span in most ...

Artificial intelligence quickly and accurately diagnoses eye diseases and pneumonia

February 22, 2018
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, researchers at Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego Health and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in China, Germany and Texas, ...

Gut microbes protect against sepsis—mouse study

February 22, 2018
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers ...

Breakthrough could lead to better drugs to tackle diabetes and obesity

February 22, 2018
Breakthrough research at Monash University has shown how different areas of major diabetes and obesity drug targets can be 'activated', guiding future drug development and better treatment of diseases.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.