Intracoronary Drug Improves Heart Attack Survival

Intracoronary abciximab lowers heart attack mortality short term

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Giving injections of an anticoagulant directly into the heart instead of infusing intravenously appears to boost short term survival among patients suffering a severe type of heart attack.

Intracoronary abciximab (ReoPro) appears to reduce the risk of dying among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a type of heart attack that occurs when a coronary artery is completely blocked, receiving angioplasty to open the blood vessel.

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Raffaele Piccolo, MD, from the department of clinical medicine, cardiovascular sciences and immunology at Federico II University in Italy, noted the drug is a cornerstone of treatment in STEMI patients receiving the artery-opening procedure.

Intracoronary administration had been proposed, but it remained unknown how the clinical outlook for patients compared to those receiving the medication through the traditional intravenous method.

During the review study investigators analyzed the findings of five trials that included 1,198 STEMI patients. The patients were studied to determine how many died from any cause following angioplasty, or who had another heart attack within 30 days.

Following the review investigators found that intracoronary abciximab administration appears to improve short term clinical outcomes by reducing the likelihood that patients will die as compared to intravenous abciximab. They determined that STEMI patients receiving intracoronary administration of the drug were half as likely to die.

Patients receiving the drug also were substantially less likely to suffer another heart attack within the initial month after angioplasty.

The study did not evaluate longer term survival associated with intracoronary abciximab.

The research was recently published in journal Heart.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 25, 2012
Last Updated:
May 27, 2012