Thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: A cohort study to evaluate a selective approach to invasive diagnosis and therapy. The Corpus Christi Heart Project

Raghbir Singh Sandhu, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Coronary perfusion with thrombolytic therapy and selective reperfusion by percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) were examined in the Corpus Christi Heart Project, a population-based surveillance program for hospitalized acute myocardial infarction (MI) patients in a biethnic community of Mexican-Americans (MAs) and non-Hispanic whites (NHWs). Results were based on 250 (12.4%) patients who received thromobolytic therapy in a cohort of 2011 acute MI cases. Out of these 107 (42.8%) underwent PTCA with a mean follow-up of 25 months. There were 186 (74.4%) men and 64 (25.6%) women; 148 (59.2%) were NHWs, 86 (34.4%) were MAs. Thrombolysis and PTCA were performed less frequently in women than in men, and less frequently in MAs than in NHWs. According to the coronary reperfusion interventions used, patients were divided in two groups, those that received no-PTCA (57.2%) and the other that underwent PTCA (42.8%) after thrombolysis. The case-fatality rate was higher in no-PTCA patients than in the PTCA (7.7% versus 5.6%), as was mortality at one year (16.2% versus 10.5%). Reperfusion was successful in 48.0% in the entire cohort and (51.4% versus 45.6%) in the PTCA and no-PTCA groups. Mortality in the successful reperfusion patients was 5.0% compared to 22.3% in the unsuccessful reperfusion group (p = 0.00016, 95% CI: 1.98-11.6). Cardiac catheterization was performed in 86.4% thrombolytic patients. Severe stenosis ($>$75%) obstruction was present most commonly in the left descending artery (52.8%) and in the right coronary artery (52.8%). The occurrence of adverse in-hospital clinical events was higher in the no-PTCA as compared to the PTCA and catheterized patients with the exception of reperfusion arrythmias (p = 0.140; Fisher's exact test p = 0.129). Cox regression analysis was used to study the relationship between selected variables and mortality. Apart from successful reperfusion, age group (p = 0.028, 95% CI: 2.1-12.42), site of acute MI index (p = 0.050) and ejection-fraction (p = 0.052) were predictors of long-term survival. The ejection-fraction in the PTCA group was higher than (median 78% versus 53%) in the no-PTCA group. Assessed by logistic regression analysis history of high cholesterol ($>$200mg/dl) and diabetes mellites did have significant prognostic value (p = 0.0233; p = 0.0318) in long-term survival irrespective of treatment status. In conclusion, the results of this study support the idea that the use of PTCA as a selective intervention following thrombolysis improves survival of patients with acute MI. The use of PTCA in this setting appears to be safe. However, we can not exclude the possibility that some of these results may have occurred due to the exclusion from PTCA of high risk patients (selection bias).

Subject Area

Public health|Surgery

Recommended Citation

Sandhu, Raghbir Singh, "Thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: A cohort study to evaluate a selective approach to invasive diagnosis and therapy. The Corpus Christi Heart Project" (1992). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9307910.