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Update on acute coronary syndromes and ST-elevation myocardial infarction

Verma, Vijay K; Hollenberg, Steven M

Current Opinion in Critical Care: October 2005 - Volume 11 - Issue 5 - p 401-405
doi: 10.1097/01.ccx.0000176697.77636.3a
Cardiovascular system

Purpose The goal of modern therapy of acute myocardial infarction is twofold: to achieve rapid reperfusion of ischemic myocardium and to decrease subsequent remodeling, which can have deleterious effects on ventricular function and prognosis. The current paradigm for treatment of most patients with acute coronary syndromes is the consideration of an ‘early invasive’ strategy.

Recent findings Studies published this year have reinforced the importance of early reperfusion, solidified the evidence for early institution of aggressive adjunctive treatment, and added newer therapies to the existing armamentarium. This review evaluates published data from the past year encompassing advancements in percutaneous coronary intervention, drug-eluting stents, glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists, thienopyridines, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, aldosterone blockade, low-molecular-weight heparins, direct thrombin inhibitors, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and beta-blockade in the treatment of acute coronary syndrome and ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. In addition to patency of the epicardial coronary arteries, the role of the microvascular has become an area of recent interest.

Summary As novel modalities and approaches are put to the test of clinical trials, evidence-based therapies may help to lessen the adverse effects of myocardial ischemia and reduce future cardiovascular events.

Division of Cardiology, Cooper University Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence to Steven M Hollenberg, MD, Division of Cardiology Medicine, Cooper University Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden, NJ 08103, USA

Tel: 856 968 7636; fax: 856 968 7420; e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.