Currently accepted standards for gauging quality of care in the treatment of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) mainly focus on shortening the time to treatment after the patient arrives at the hospital. But this narrow focus fails to consider the substantial duration of myocardial ischemia that exists prior to hospital arrival, and the large number of deaths that occur during the pre-hospital period. The time from symptom onset until reperfusion occurs is one estimate of total ischemic time. Several experimental studies and now human clinical studies have confirmed that infarct size and mortality are strongly correlated with the total ischemic time, and much less so with its subintervals like door-to-balloon time. This review will discuss the importance of total ischemic time in STEMI. © 2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation.
Denktas, A. E., Anderson, H. V., McCarthy, J., & Smalling, R. W. (2011, June). Total ischemic time: The correct focus of attention for optimal ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction care. JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcin.2011.02.012