Objectives. This study sought to evaluate treatment of early intracoronary stent thrombosis. Background. Although refinements in intracoronary stent implantation technique and pharmacologic treatment have reduced the frequency of early stent thrombosis, stent thrombosis remains a feared complication of this procedure. Optimal treatment for stent thrombosis is still undefined. Methods. Twenty.nine patients (44 stents) with early (<=30 days) coronary stent thrombosis over a 5-year period at our institution were identified. Treatment and outcome of stent thrombosis were analyzed. Results. Mean (+/-SD) time from implantation to stent thrombosis was 6.1 +/- 5 days. Twenty-three patients were treated with catheter-based therapies (angioplasty alone in 14, angioplasty and intracoronary urokinase in 7, intracoronary urokinase alone in 2). Flow was restored without residual thrombus in 11 (48%) of the catheter-treated patients (6 of 14 with angioplasty alone, 4 of 7 with angioplasty and urokinase, 1 with urokinase alone). Of the 23 patients, 2 died despite restoration of anterograde flow, and 9 were referred for emergent or urgent bypass surgery because of residual thrombus and refractory angina despite restoration of blood flow. Of the remaining six patients, five were treated medically and one with coronary bypass surgery; three died. Acute myocardial infarction evolved in 26 patients (90%), including 20 (87%) of the 23 catheter-treated patients. Conclusions. Stent thrombosis is associated with severe adverse outcomes. Although catheter-based therapies are effective in restoring patency in a majority of patients, patients are referred frequently for coronary bypass surgery because of residual thrombus and refractory angina. These findings suggest that alternative or adjunctive therapies for stent thrombosis are needed.
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