Use of percutaneous coronary intervention to treat heart attack continues to rise in UK, audit shows

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 30 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f629
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is now used as the reperfusion strategy in the acute treatment of most patients who have had a heart attack, but large regional variations in its use remain, show the latest results from a UK audit.1

The 2011 annual report from the national audit of percutaneous coronary intervention shows that primary PCI accounted for more than 95% of reperfusion treatment for patients with an ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), replacing thrombolysis as the preferred option.

The proportion of patients with STEMI treated with primary PCI, which improves blood flow to the heart by inflating a small balloon that widens narrowed arteries identified by coronary angiography, has more than doubled since 2006, from 11% to 25.1%.

The time to treatment has also improved, …

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