Sophia Antipolis, France, 22 March 2005: The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) releases the first European Guidelines on Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI), pre-published and accessible on the ESC Web Site(1). According to these Guidelines, PCI can now be regarded as the first option for a larger group of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) than before. Recent technical and pharmacological improvements have developed PCI into a procedure that can be safely and effectively applied to patients with various types of coronary lesions and patients with and without myocardial infarction.
The ESC Guidelines on PCI represent the consensus of a Task Force of European experts(1), chaired by Professor Sigmund Silber of the Gemeinschaftspraxis Hospital, Munich, Germany, Fellow of the ESC. Professor Silber outlines the highlights of the Guidelines and summarises the recommendations, whilst outlining the rationale behind their timing and their relevance to the European healthcare arena.
ESC PCI Guidelines highlights
One of the most pertinent points of the ESC guidelines is that thrombolysis for myocardial infarction can be administered within the first 3 hours after onset of chest pain, if no catheter lab is accessible, preferably within 90 minutes. Thrombolysis, however, should not be regarded as the final treatment stage: even if successful, thrombolysis should still be followed by invasive diagnosis and treatment, if applicable. A patient may feel fine after thrombolysis, but there is significant evidence that he/she should still undergo cardiac catheterisation, optimally within 24 hours after successful thrombolysis.
Due to the differences in the infrastructure between the USA and Europe, the ESC Guidelines differ from those of the USA (issued by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association)(2) when addressing issues of time and distance to catheter laboratories. The European Guidelines
Contact: Camilla Dormer
European Society of Cardiology