Multi-vessel coronary disease in people with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is common and is associated with worse prognosis after STEMI. Based on limited evidence, international guidelines recommend intervention on only the culprit vessel during STEMI. This, in turn, leaves other significantly stenosed coronary arteries for medical therapy or revascularisation based on inducible ischaemia on provocative testing. Newer data suggest that intervention on both the culprit and non-culprit stenotic coronary arteries (complete intervention) may yield better results compared with culprit-only intervention.
To assess the effects of early complete revascularisation compared with culprit vessel only intervention strategy in people with STEMI and multi-vessel coronary disease.
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, Embase, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal, and ClinicalTrials.gov. The date of the last search was 4 January 2017. We applied no language restrictions. We handsearched conference proceedings to December 2016, and contacted authors and companies related to the field.
We included only randomised controlled trials (RCTs), wherein complete revascularisation strategy was compared with a culprit-only percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for the treatment of people with STEMI and multi-vessel coronary disease.
We assessed the methodological quality of each trial using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool. We resolved the disagreements by discussion among review authors. We followed standard methodological approaches recommended by Cochrane. The primary outcomes were long-term (one year or greater after the index intervention) all-cause mortality, long-term cardiovascular mortality, long-term non-fatal myocardial infarction, and adverse events. The secondary outcomes were short-term (within the first 30 days after the index intervention) all-cause mortality, short-term cardiovascular mortality, short-term non-fatal myocardial infarction, revascularisation, health-related quality of life, and cost. We analysed data using fixed-effect models, and expressed results as risk ratios (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We used GRADE criteria to assess the quality of evidence and we conducted Trial Sequential Analysis (TSA) to control risks of random errors.
We included nine RCTs, that involved 2633 people with STEMI and multi-vessel coronary disease randomly assigned to either a complete (n = 1381) versus culprit-only (n = 1252) revascularisation strategy. The complete and the culprit-only revascularisation strategies did not differ for long-term all-cause mortality (65/1274 (5.1%) in complete group versus 72/1143 (6.3%) in culprit-only group; RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.11; participants = 2417; studies = 8; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). Compared with culprit-only intervention, the complete revascularisation strategy was associated with a lower proportion of long-term cardiovascular mortality (28/1143 (2.4%) in complete group versus 51/1086 (4.7%) in culprit-only group; RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.79; participants = 2229; studies = 6; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence) and long-term non-fatal myocardial infarction (47/1095 (4.3%) in complete group versus 70/1004 (7.0%) in culprit-only group; RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.89; participants = 2099; studies = 6; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). The complete and the culprit-only revascularisation strategies did not differ in combined adverse events (51/2096 (2.4%) in complete group versus 57/1990 (2.9%) in culprit-only group; RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.21; participants = 4086; I(2) = 0%; very low quality evidence). Complete revascularisation was associated with lower proportion of long-term revascularisation (145/1374 (10.6%) in complete group versus 258/1242 (20.8%) in culprit-only group; RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.57; participants = 2616; studies = 9; I(2) = 31%; very low quality evidence). TSA of long-term all-cause mortality, long-term cardiovascular mortality, and long-term non-fatal myocardial infarction showed that more RCTs are needed to reach more conclusive results on these outcomes. Regarding long-term repeat revascularisation more RCTs may not change our present result. The quality of the evidence was judged to be very low for all primary and the majority of the secondary outcomes mainly due to risk of bias, imprecision, and indirectness.
Compared with culprit-only intervention, the complete revascularisation strategy may be superior due to lower proportions of long-term cardiovascular mortality, long-term revascularisation, and long-term non-fatal myocardial infarction, but these findings are based on evidence of very low quality. TSA also supports the need for more RCTs in order to draw stronger conclusions regarding the effects of complete revascularisation on long-term all-cause mortality, long-term cardiovascular mortality, and long-term non-fatal myocardial infarction.