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1)ISIS-1 (Randomised trial of intravenous atenolol among 16 027 cases of suspected acute myocardial infarction: ISIS-1. First International Study of Infarct Survival Collaborative Group.) 1986

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Between mid-1981 and Jan 1, 1985, 16 027 patients entering 245 coronary care units at a mean of 5.0 h after the onset of suspected acute myocardial infarction were randomised either to a control group or to a group receiving atenolol (5-10 mg iv immediately, followed by 100 mg/day orally for 7 days). Vascular mortality during the treatment period (days 0-7) was significantly lower (2p less than 0.4) in the treated group, 313/8037 (3.89%) versus 365/7990 (4.57%), but this 15% difference has wide 95% confidence limits (from about zero to about a quarter). No subgroups were identified in which the proportional difference in days 0-7 was clearly better, or clearly worse, than 15%. After the treatment period, there was only a slight further divergence (691 vs 703 additional vascular deaths by Jan 1, 1985). Thus, overall vascular mortality was significantly lower in the atenolol group at one year (life-table estimates: 10.7% atenolol vs 12.0% control; 2p less than 0.01) but not at Jan 1, 1985 (crude percentages: 12.5% vs 13.4%; 2p less than 0.07). However, atenolol patients were more likely than controls to be discharged on beta-blockers, which can account for much of the additional difference in vascular mortality after day 7. Immediate beta-blockade increased the extent of inotropic drug use (5.0% vs 3.4%, 2p less than 0.0001), chiefly on days 0-1, but despite this most of the improvement in vascular mortality was seen during days 0-1 (121 vs 171 deaths). Treatment did not appear to decrease the number in whom cardiac enzymes rose to above twice the local upper limit of normal. Slightly fewer non-fatal cardiac arrests (189 vs 198) and reinfarctions (148 vs 161) were recorded in the atenolol group, neither difference being significant. Systematic review of fatal and of non-fatal events in ISIS-1 and in all other randomised trials of iv beta-blockade reinforces the suggestion that treatment reduces mortality in the first week by about 15%, but with a rather less extreme effect in days 0-1 than was observed in ISIS-1 alone. It also provides highly significant (2p less than 0.0002) evidence of an effect on the combined end-point of death, arrest, or reinfarction, suggesting that treatment of about 200 patients would lead to the avoidance of 1 reinfarction, 1 arrest, and 1 death during days 0-7. ISIS-1 suggests these early gains will persist.

2)ISIS-2 (ISIS-2: 10 year survival among patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction in randomised comparison of intravenous streptokinase, oral aspirin, both, or neither. The ISIS-2 (Second International Study of Infarct Survival) Collaborative Group.), 1988


OBJECTIVE: To assess effects of intravenous streptokinase, one month of oral aspirin, or both, on long term survival after suspected acute myocardial infarction. DESIGN: Randomised, "2 x 2 factorial," placebo controlled trial. SETTING: 417 hospitals in 16 countries. SUBJECTS: 17 187 patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction randomised between March 1985 and December 1987. Follow up of vital status complete to at least 1 January 1990 for 95% of all patients and to mid-1997 for the 6213 patients in United Kingdom. INTERVENTIONS: Intravenous streptokinase (1.5 MU in 1 hour) and oral aspirin (162 mg daily for 1 month) versus matching placebos. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mortality from all causes during up to 10 years' follow up, with subgroup analyses based on 4 year follow up. RESULTS: After randomisation, 1841 deaths were recorded in days 0-35, 991 from day 36 to end of year 1, 1478 in years 2-4, and 1230 in years 5-10. Allocation to streptokinase was associated with 29 (95% confidence interval 20 to 38) fewer deaths per 1000 patients during days 0-35. This early benefit persisted (death rate ratio 0.98 (0.92 to 1.04) for additional deaths between day 36 and end of year 10), so that there were 28 (14 to 42) and 23 (2 to 44) fewer deaths per 1000 patients treated with streptokinase after 4 years and 10 years respectively. There was no evidence that absolute survival benefit increased with prolonged follow up among any category of patient, including those presenting early after symptoms started or with anterior ST elevation. Nor did the early benefits seem to be lost in any category (including those aged over 70). Allocation to one month of aspirin was associated with 26 (16 to 35) fewer deaths per 1000 during first 35 days, with little further benefit or loss during subsequent years (death rate ratio 0.99 (0.93 to 1.06) between day 36 and end of year 10). The early benefit obtained with combination of streptokinase and one month of aspirin also seemed to persist long term. CONCLUSIONS: The early survival advantages produced by fibrinolytic therapy and one month of aspirin started in acute myocardial infarction seem to be maintained for at least 10 years.

3)ISIS-3 (ISIS-3: a randomised comparison of streptokinase vs tissue plasminogen activator vs anistreplase and of aspirin plus heparin vs aspirin alone among 41,299 cases of suspected acute myocardial infarction. ISIS-3 (Third International Study of Infarct Survival) Collaborative Group.) 1992


41,299 patients entering 914 hospitals up to 24 h (median 4 h) after the onset of suspected acute myocardial infarction were randomised between streptokinase (SK: 1.5 MU infused over about 1 h), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA, duteplase: 0.60 MU/kg infused over about 4 h), or anisoylated plasminogen-streptokinase activator complex (APSAC), anistreplase: 30 U over about 3 min). All patients were to receive aspirin (162 mg/day enteric-coated), with the first tablet chewed for rapid and full antiplatelet effect. Half of all patients were randomly allocated subcutaneous calcium heparin (12,500 IU starting at 4 h and given twice daily for 7 days or until prior discharge) in addition to aspirin, and the other half were to receive aspirin alone. ASPIRIN PLUS HEPARIN VERSUS ASPIRIN ALONE--The addition of heparin to aspirin was associated with an excess of transfused or other major non-cerebral bleeds (1.0% aspirin plus heparin vs 0.8% aspirin alone; 2p < 0.01) and of definite or probable cerebral haemorrhage (0.56% vs 0.40%; 2p < 0.05), but with no significnat differences in total stroke (1.28% vs 1.18%). Reinfarctions were slightly less common among those allocated aspirin plus heparin (3.16% vs 3.47%; 2p = 0.09). There was no signficant difference in the pre-specified endpoint of 35-day mortality (2132 [10.3%] aspirin plus heparin vs 2189 [10.6%] aspirin alone). During the scheduled heparin treatment period there were slightly fewer deaths in the aspirin plus heparin group (days 0-7 in hospital: 1534 [7.4%] vs 1633 [7.9%]; 2 p = 0.06), with a slight convergence by day 35 (598 further deaths [3.1% of survivors] vs 556 [2.9%]). The pattern was similar to that observed in the GISSI-2 trial, so that in both trials combined there was a significant reduction in mortality during the scheduled treatment period (2071 [6.8%] vs 2239 [7.3%]; 2p < 0.01). This indicates avoidance of 5 deaths (SD 2) per 1000 patients allocated this high-dose subcutaneous heparin regimen in addition to aspirin, but some of any early benefit may be lost after heparin ceases, with no significant mortality advantage in days 0-35 (both trials: 3100 [10.0%] vs 3172 [10.2%]) or during follow-up to 6 months. SK VERSUS APSAC--APSAC was associated with significantly more reports of allergy causing persistent symptoms and of non-cerebral bleeds, but not of transfused bleeds or of reinfarctions. There was a slight excess of strokes with APSAC (1.04% SK vs 1.26% APSAC; 2p = 0.08), much of it appearing soon after treatment started (strokes during days 0-1: 0.50% SK vs 0.73% APSAC; 2p < 0.02) and being attributed to cerebral haemorrhage (0.24% SK vs 0.55% APSAC; 2p < 0.0001). No significant difference was observed in reinfarction (3.47% SK vs 3.55% APSAC). There was no significant mortality difference during days 0-35, either among all randomised patients (1455 [10.6%] SK vs 1448 [10.5%] APSAC) or among the pre-specified subset presenting within 0-6 h of pain onset and with ST elevation on the electrocardiogram in whom fibrinolytic treatment may have most to offer (861 [10.0%] SK vs 855 [9.9%] APSAC). No significant difference in 6-month survival was apparent overall or in the subset.


4)ISIS-4 (ISIS-4: a randomised factorial trial assessing early oral captopril, oral mononitrate, and intravenous magnesium sulphate in 58,050 patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction. ISIS-4 (Fourth International Study of Infarct Survival) Collaborative Group.) 1995


58,050 patients entering 1086 hospitals up to 24 h (median 8 h) after the onset of suspected acute myocardial infarction (MI) with no clear contraindications to the study treatments (in particular, no cardiogenic shock or persistent severe hypotension) were randomised in a "2 x 2 x 2 factorial" study. The treatment comparisons were: (i) 1 month of oral captopril (6.25 mg initial dose titrated up to 50 mg twice daily) versus matching placebo; (ii) 1 month of oral controlled-release mononitrate (30 mg initial dose titrated up to 60 mg once daily) versus matching placebo; and (iii) 24 h of intravenous magnesium sulphate (8 mmol initial bolus followed by 72 mmol) versus open control. There were no significant "interactions" between the effects of these three treatments, and the results for each are based on the randomised comparison of about 29,000 active versus 29,000 control allocated patients. Captopril There was a significant 7% (SD 3) proportional reduction in 5-week mortality (2088 [7.19%] captopril-allocated deaths vs 2231 [7.69%] placebo; 2p = 0.02), which corresponds to an absolute difference of 4.9 SD 2.2 fewer deaths per 1000 patients treated for 1 month. The absolute benefits appeared to be larger (perhaps about 10 fewer deaths per 1000) in certain higher-risk groups, such as those presenting with a history of previous MI or with heart failure. The survival advantage appeared to be maintained in the longer term (5.4 [SD 2.8] fewer deaths per 1000 at 12 months). Captopril was associated with an increase of 52 (SD 2) patients per 1000 in hypotension considered severe enough to require termination of study treatment, of 5 (SD 2) per 1000 in reported cardiogenic shock, and of 5 (SD 1) per 1000 in some degree of renal dysfunction. It produced no excess of deaths on days 0-1, even among patients with low blood pressure at entry. Mononitrate There was no significant reduction in 5-week mortality, either overall (2129 [7.34%] mononitrate-allocated deaths vs 2190 [7.54%] placebo) or in any subgroup examined (including those receiving short-term non-study intravenous or oral nitrates at entry). Further follow-up did not indicate any later survival advantage. The only significant side-effect of the mononitrate regimen studied was an increase of 15 (SD 2) per 1000 in hypotension. Those allocated active treatment had somewhat fewer deaths on days 0-1, which is reassuring a bout the safety of using nitrates early in acute MI.

5) GUSTO-IIa (Randomized trial of intravenous heparin versus recombinant hirudin for acute coronary syndromes. The Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO) IIa Investigators.) 1994


BACKGROUND: Although intravenous heparin is routinely used in the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes, this anticoagulant requires antithrombin III as a cofactor, has no affinity to clot-bound thrombin, and is bound or inactivated by several plasma proteins and platelet factor 4. Recombinant hirudin, the prototypic direct thrombin inhibitor, has been demonstrated in pilot studies to yield improved angiographic and clinical outcomes compared with heparin. We compared these two antithrombins in a large-scale randomized trial. METHODS AND RESULTS: At 275 participating hospitals in 12 countries, patients within 12 hours from the onset of ischemic chest discomfort with an abnormal ECG were randomly assigned to receive a 72- to 120-hour infusion of heparin (5000-U bolus and 1000- to 1300-U/h infusion, adjusted to activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) of 60 to 90 seconds or hirudin (0.6-mg/kg bolus and 0.2-mg/kg per hour infusion without aPTT adjustment) on a double-blind basis. Although recruitment of 12,000 patients was planned, the trial was stopped earlier because of an excess of intracerebral hemorrhagic events after 2564 patients were enrolled. The overall incidence of hemorrhagic stroke tended to be higher for patients receiving hirudin (1.3%) compared with heparin (0.7%), P = .11, but the incidence was significantly higher in patients receiving thrombolytic therapy (1264 patients, 1.8%) compared with those who did not (1168 patients, 0.3%), P < .001. The hemorrhagic stroke rate varied by the thrombolytic and antithrombin combination: tissue-type plasminogen activator and heparin, 0.9%; with hirudin, 1.7%; streptokinase with heparin, 2.7%; with hirudin, 3.2%. All these rates are higher than the overall incidence of hemorrhagic stroke in the patients receiving thrombolytic therapy and intravenous heparin in the GUSTO I trial (30,892 patients with rate of 0.7%, 95% CI of 0.6 to 0.8%). Among the 26 patients who had intracerebral hemorrhages, the aPTT was significantly elevated compared with the event-free patients (110 +/- 46 versus 87 +/- 36 seconds at 12 hours of therapy, respectively), P = .03. CONCLUSIONS: At the dose of hirudin tested, there was a trend of an excess of hemorrhagic stroke compared with heparin. Heparin, at a slightly higher dose than previously used in a large-scale trial (approximately 20% increase) was accompanied by a twofold risk of hemorrhagic stroke in patients receiving thrombolytic therapy. With both thrombin inhibitors, the aPTT appears to be a useful index for predicting risk of hemorrhagic stroke in patients receiving thrombolytic therapy.

6) GUSTO-IIb (A Clinical Trial Comparing Primary Coronary Angioplasty with Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Acute Myocardial Infarction . The Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries in Acute Coronary Syndromes (GUSTO IIb) Angioplasty Substudy Investigators ) 1997

      Background Among physicians who treat patients with acute myocardial infarction, there is controversy about the magnitude of the clinical benefit of primary (i.e., immediate) coronary angioplasty as compared with thrombolytic therapy.
Methods As part of the Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries in Acute Coronary Syndromes (GUSTO IIb) trial, we randomly assigned 1138 patients from 57 hospitals who presented within 12 hours of acute myocardial infarction (with ST-segment elevation on the electrocardiogram) to primary angioplasty or accelerated thrombolytic therapy with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). We also randomly assigned 1012 patients to heparin or hirudin treatment in a factorial design. The primary study end point was a composite outcome of death, nonfatal reinfarction, and nonfatal disabling stroke at 30 days.
Results The incidence of the primary end point in the angioplasty and t-PA groups was 9.6 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively (odds ratio, 0.67; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.47 to 0.97; P = 0.033). Death occurred in 5.7 percent of the patients assigned to angioplasty and 7.0 percent of those assigned to t-PA (P = 0.37), reinfarction in 4.5 percent and 6.5 percent (P = 0.13), and disabling stroke in 0.2 percent and 0.9 percent (P = 0.11). At six months, there was no significant difference in the incidence of the composite outcome (14.1 percent vs. 16.1 percent, P not significant). The primary end point was observed in 10.6 percent of the patients in the angioplasty group assigned to heparin and 8.2 percent of those assigned to hirudin (P = 0.37).
Conclusions This trial suggests that angioplasty provides a small-to-moderate, short-term clinical advantage over thrombolytic therapy with t-PA. Primary angioplasty, when it can be accomplished promptly at experienced centers, should be considered an excellent alternative method for myocardial reperfusion.


7) GUSTO-III (Survival outcomes 1 year after reperfusion therapy with either alteplase or reteplase for acute myocardial infarction: results from the Global Utilization of Streptokinase and t-PA for Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO) III Trial.) 2000


BACKGROUND: New recombinant plasminogen activators have been developed to simulate the fibrinolytic action of the physiological serine protease tissue plasminogen activator (alteplase, t-PA), and have prolonged half-life features permitting bolus administration. One such activator, reteplase (r-PA), was compared with t-PA in the Global Utilization of Streptokinase and t-PA for Occluded Coronary Arteries (GUSTO)-III Trial. METHODS AND RESULTS: At 1-year follow-up, survival status was ascertained in 97.4% of the 15 059 patients enrolled in the GUSTO-III trial. At 1 year, the mortality rate for the t-PA-assigned group was 11.06%, and for r-PA it was 11.20% (P:=0. 77). The absolute mortality difference of 0.14% has 95% CIs of -1. 21% to 0.93%. There were no significant differences in outcome by intention-to-treat for the 2 different plasminogen activators in the prespecified groups (age, infarct location, time-to-treatment). The absolute difference in mortality rates between t-PA and r-PA progressively narrowed over the predetermined observation times after random assignment; it was 0.31% at 24 hours, 0.26% at 7 days, 0.23% at 30 days, and 0.14% at 1 year. Of note, mortality rate in the trial between 30 days and 1 year in 13 883 patients was 4.02% and did not differ between the treatment groups. However, this mortality rate was substantially greater than in GUSTO-I, in which mortality rate for t-PA versus streptokinase between 30 days and 1-year was 2.97% (heart rate 1.36, 95% CI 1.23, 1.50, P:<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The r-PA and t-PA strategies yielded similar survival outcomes after 30 days in this trial. The increase in mortality rate during extended follow-up compared with previous trials may reflect higher-risk patients and highlights the need for improved secondary prevention strategies.

8) SAVE (Effects of captopril on ischemic events after myocardial infarction. Results of the Survival and Ventricular Enlargement trial. SAVE Investigators.)


BACKGROUND: In the Survival and Ventricular Enlargement (SAVE) trial, recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) was the most important predictor of a poor outcome and conferred a sevenfold increase in risk of death. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictors of recurrent MI in study participants and to examine the influence of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril on this and other myocardial ischemic events. METHODS AND RESULTS: The 2231 patients had survived the acute phase of MI (3 to 16 days) and had a radionuclide ventricular ejection fraction < or = 40%. Patients were randomly assigned to receive double-blind treatment with either placebo or captopril and were followed for an average of 42 months. The influence of captopril on recurrent MI, cardiac revascularization procedures, and hospitalization with unstable angina was examined. The likelihood of recurrent MI was greater in patients with an MI or functional disability before the index infarction and higher systolic pressure (all P < .001) but was not influenced by baseline left ventricular ejection fraction. Therapy with captopril reduced the risk of development of recurrent MI by 25% (95% confidence intervals, 5% to 40%; P = .015) and the risk of death after recurrent MI by 32% (95% confidence intervals, 4% to 51%; P = .029). Captopril-assigned patients were also less likely to require cardiac revascularization procedures (P = .010), but hospitalization for unstable angina was unaltered. When all three of these major coronary ischemic events were considered together, captopril therapy reduced the risk (14% risk reduction; 95% confidence intervals, 0% to 26%; P = .047). CONCLUSIONS: In post-MI patients with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction, long-term administration of captopril reduced recurrence of MI and the need for cardiac revascularization but had no influence on the rate of hospitalization with a discharge diagnosis of unstable angina. The finding that the recurrence of MI was independent of left ventricular ejection fraction suggests that captopril could be useful in preventing recurrent MI in patients with more preserved left ventricular function. The need for cardiac revascularization was reduced in patients receiving long-term captopril therapy, suggesting either an anti-ischemic effect or the ability of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor to modify the atherosclerotic process in survivors of MI.

9)OPTIMAAL (Effects of losartan and captopril on mortality and morbidity in high-risk patients after acute myocardial infarction: the OPTIMAAL randomised trial. Optimal Trial in Myocardial Infarction with Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan)


BACKGROUND: ACE inhibitors attenuate the detrimental effects of angiotensin II, and improve survival and reduce morbidity in patients with acute myocardial infarction and evidence of heart failure or left-ventricular dysfunction. Selective antagonism of the angiotensin type 1 receptor represents an alternative approach to inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system. We did a multicentre, randomised trial to test the hypothesis that the angiotensin II antagonist losartan would be superior or non-inferior to the ACE inhibitor captopril in decreasing all-cause mortality in high-risk patients after acute myocardial infarction. METHODS: 5477 patients 50 years of age or older (mean age 67.4 years [SD 9.8]), with confirmed acute myocardial infarction and heart failure during the acute phase or a new Q-wave anterior infarction or reinfarction, were recruited from 329 centres in seven European countries. Patients were randomly assigned and titrated to a target dose of losartan (50 mg once daily) or captopril (50 mg three times daily) as tolerated. The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. Analysis was by intention to treat. FINDINGS: There were 946 deaths during a mean follow-up of 2.7 (0.9) years: 499 (18%) in the losartan group and 447 (16%) in the captopril group (relative risk 1.13 [95% CI 0.99-1.28], p=0.07). The results for the secondary and tertiary endpoints were as follows: sudden cardiac death or resuscitated cardiac arrest 239 (9%) versus 203 (7%), 1.19 (0.98-1.43), p=0.07, and fatal or non-fatal reinfarction 384 (14%) versus 379 (14%), 1.03 (0.89-1.18), p=0.72. The all-cause hospital admission rates were 1806 (66%) versus 1774 (65%), 1.03 (0.97-1.10), p=0.37. Losartan was significantly better tolerated than captopril, with fewer patients discontinuing study medication (458 [17%] vs 624 [23%], 0.70 [0.62-0.79], p<0.0001). INTERPRETATION: Since we saw a non-significant difference in total mortality in favour of captopril, ACE inhibitors should remain first-choice treatment in patients after complicated acute myocardial infarction. Losartan cannot be generally recommended in this population. However, it was better tolerated than captopril, and was associated with significantly fewer discontinuations. Although the role of losartan in patients intolerant of ACE inhibition is not clearly defined, it can be considered in such patients.

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