Background: Aortic counterpulsation has been observed to reduce the rate of reocclusion of the infarct-related artery after patency has been restored during acute myocardial infarction in observational studies. To evaluate the benefit-to-risk ratio of aortic counterpulsation during the early phase of myocardial infarction, a multicenter randomized clinical trial was performed. Methods and Results: Patients who had patency restored during acute cardiac catheterization within the first 24 hours of onset of myocardial infarction were randomly assigned to aortic counterpulsation for 48 hours versus standard care. Intravenous heparin was used similarly in both groups and was continued for a median (25th, 75th percentile) of 5 (2,7) days. A total of 182 patients were enrolled; 96 were assigned to aortic counterpulsation and 86 to standard care. Repeat cardiac catheterization was performed at a median of 5 (4,6) days after randomization in 89% of patients assigned to aortic counterpulsation and in 90% of control patients. Patients randomized to aortic counterpulsation had similar rates of severe bleeding complications (2% versus 1%), number of units of blood transfused (mean, 1.3±2.6 versus 0.9±1.8 units), and vascular repair or thrombectomy (5% versus 2%) compared with patients treated in a conventional manner. Patients randomized to aortic counterpulsation had significantly less reocclusion of the infarct-related artery during follow-up compared with control patients (8% versus 21%, P<.03). In addition, there was a significantly lower event rate in patients assigned to aortic counterpulsation in terms of a composite clinical end point (death, stroke, reinfarction, need for emergency revascularization with angioplasty or bypass surgery, or recurrent ischemia): 13% versus 24%, P<.04. Conclusions: This randomized trial showed that careful use of prophylactic aortic counterpulsation can prevent reocclusion of the infarct-related artery and improve overall clinical outcome in patients undergoing acute cardiac catheterization during myocardial infarction.
- aortic counterpulsation
- myocardial infarction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)