Background Despite primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) is generally considered the best therapy in older frail adults with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the incidence of re-hospitalization for cardiovascular diseases remains significant in these patients. Aims We hypothesized that thrombus aspiration (TA) before PPCI could be a useful treatment for reducing mortality and rehospitalizations in frail patients undergoing PPCI for STEMI. Methods We conducted a study comparing PPCI alone vs TA + PPCI in frail STEMI patients. We examined a cohort of consecutive frail patients aged >= 65 years with first STEMI treated with PPCI between February 2008 and July 2015 at the Department of Cardiology of the "Cardarelli" Hospital in Naples, Italy. Results The study was completed by 389 patients (PPCI: 195, TA + PPCI: 194). At 1-month follow-up, the rate of death from any cause was 7.0% in patients treated with PPCI alone vs 3.0% in patients treated with TA + PPCI (p 0.036), whereas death from cardiovascular causes was 6.0% in the PPCI group vs 3.0% in the TA + PPCI group (p 0.028). Equally important, the rate of re-hospitalization due to heart failure was 7.5% in the PPCI group vs 4.0% in TA + PPCI group (p 0.025) and the rate of re-hospitalization due to acute coronary syndrome was 10.0% in the PPCI group vs 4.5% in the TA + PPCI group (p 0.016). Conclusion These results indicate the importance of TA in the treatment of STEMI in a group of high-risk patients such as elderly with frailty.
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