The purpose of this study was to verify the impact on the number and characteristics of coronary invasive procedures for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) of two hub centers with cardiac catheterization facilities, during the first month of lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and methods
Procedural data of ACS patients admitted between 10 March and 10 April 2020 were compared with those of the same period of 2019.
We observed a 23.4% reduction in ACS admissions during 2020, with a decrease for both ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) (–5.6%) and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (–34.5%), albeit not statistically significant (P = 0.2). During the first 15 days of the examined periods, the reduction in ACS admissions reached 52.5% (–25% for STEMI and –70.3% for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, P = 0.04). Among STEMI patients, the rate of those with a time delay from symptoms onset longer than 180 min was significantly higher during the lockdown period (P = 0.01). Radiograph exposure (P = 0.01) was higher in STEMI patients treated in 2020 with a slightly higher amount of contrast medium (P = 0.1) and number of stents implanted (P = 0.1), whereas the number of treated vessels was reduced (P = 0.03). Percutaneous coronary intervention procedural success and in-hospital mortality were not different between the two groups and in STEMI patients (P NS for all).
During the early phase, the COVID-19 outbreak was associated with a lower rate of admissions for ACS, with a substantial impact on the time delay presentation of STEMI patients, but apparently without affecting the in-hospital outcomes.