Background Great strides have been made in improving outcomes for patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), predominately through initiatives focusing upon improving clinical processes "upstream" of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) the actual step-by-step mechanics of diagnostic angiography during STEMI and other aspects of the PCI procedure itself have received relatively little attention. Objectives and Methods We hypothesized that there would be significant variation in how primary PCI for STEMI is performed in the United States. In order to better understand current US practice, an electronic survey consisting of seven focused questions was forwarded to 2,910 US interventional cardiologists who were members of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). Results Three hundred sixty-two responses were received (12.4%). Among respondents, the femoral artery was the preferred access site in 83% (vs. 17% radial) the use of a diagnostic catheter to visualize the non-culprit artery prior to using a guiding catheter for the culprit artery was the preferred approach for 58% of respondents, and an additional 23% preferred complete angiography with diagnostic catheters prior to guide insertion. However, a significant minority (19%) preferred starting directly with a guide catheter for the culprit artery and performing PCI prior to contralateral non-culprit artery visualization. Only 9% reported performing routine left ventriculography prior to PCI, with the majority (66%) choosing to perform ventriculography during/after PCI, and 25% reporting rare or no use of left ventriculography. Fewer than half of respondents (49%) reported routine aspiration thrombectomy use, despite a Class IIa ACC/AHA guidelines recommendation. Conclusions There is significant variability in the self-reported mechanics of primary PCI by US interventional cardiologists. Some of this variability (e.g., sequence of catheters, and performance of left ventriculography prior to reperfusion) is not addressed by current guidelines/consensus documents, and may have clinical implications, reflecting the balance between the desire for timely reperfusion versus a more complete assessment of patient risk. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- complications adult cath/intervention
- coronary artery disease
- diagnostic cardiac catheterization
- myocardial infarction
- percutaneous coronary intervention
- transradial cath