Background: Pretreatment with clopidogrel reduces ischemic complications before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Limited data exist regarding the effect of pretreatment for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients undergoing primary PCI. Methods: Prospective data were analyzed from a regional STEMI system using rapid transfer for primary PCI in 30 community hospitals. Zone 1 community hospitals are <60 miles and Zone 2 hospitals are 60 to 210 miles away from the PCI hospital. Compared with 63 minutes in the PCI hospital, median door-to-balloon times were 94 minutes in Zone 1 and 123 minutes in Zone 2 hospitals. All patients received aspirin, unfractionated heparin, and clopidogrel 600 mg in the emergency department of the presenting hospital within 15 minutes of diagnosis. Results: From April 2003 through December 2008, 2,014 consecutive STEMI patients were pretreated with clopidogrel before PCI, with a median (25th-75th percentile) duration from pretreatment to PCI of 75 (58-93) minutes. Patients with longer pretreatment duration had significantly reduced reinfarction/reischemia at 30 days (Zone 1: 0.85%, Zone 2: 0.9%) compared with nontransferred patients (3.2%, P = .001) as well as reduced stent thrombosis (Zone 1: 0.6%, Zone 2: 0.6% vs Abbott Northwestern: 2.0%; P = .04). Similarly, pretreatment duration of >60 minutes before PCI had reduced 30-day reinfarction/reischemia (1.0% vs 2.9%, P = .003). There were no significant differences in mortality or major bleeding. Conclusion: ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients undergoing primary PCI in a regional STEMI network who received earlier pretreatment with a 600-mg loading dose of clopidogrel had less ischemic complications without increased bleeding or mortality.
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