This study sought to systematically determine whether early invasive therapy improves survival and reduces adverse cardiovascular events in the management of non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes.
Although early invasive therapy reduces recurrent unstable angina, the magnitude of benefit on other important adverse outcomes is unknown.
Clinical trials that randomized non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome patients to early invasive therapy versus a more conservative approach were included for analysis.
In all there were 7 trials with 8,375 patients available for analysis. At a mean follow-up of 2 years, the incidence of all-cause mortality was 4.9% in the early invasive group, compared with 6.5% in the conservative group (risk ratio [RR] = 0.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.63 to 0.90, p = 0.001), and at 1 month (RR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.50 to 1.34, p = 0.43). At 2 years of follow-up, the incidence of nonfatal myocardial infarction was 7.6% in the invasive group, versus 9.1% in the conservative group (RR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.96, p = 0.012), and at 1 month (RR = 0.93, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.19, p = 0.57). At a mean of 13 months of follow-up, there was a reduction in rehospitalization for unstable angina (RR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.74, p < 0.0001).
Managing non–ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes by early invasive therapy improves long-term survival and reduces late myocardial infarction and rehospitalization for unstable angina.