Safety and cost-effectiveness of early discharge after primary angioplasty in low risk patients with acute myocardial infarction

Cindy L. Grines, Dominic L. Marsalese, Bruce Brodie, John Griffin, Bryan Donohue, Costantino R. Costantini, Carlos Balestrini, Gregg Stone, Thomas Wharton, Paolo Esente, Michael Spain, Jeffrey Moses, Masakiyo Nobuyoshi, Mike Ayres, Denise Jones, Denise Mason, Debra Sachs, Lorelei L. Grines, William O'Neill

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232 Scopus citations


Objectives. The second Primary Angioplasty in Myocardial Infarction (PAMI-II) study evaluated the hypothesis that primary percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), with subsequent discharge from the hospital 3 days later, is safe and cost-effective in low risk patients. Background. In low risk patients with myocardial infarction (MI), few data exist regarding the need for intensive care and noninvasive testing or the appropriate length of hospital stay. Methods. Patients with acute MI underwent emergency catheterization with primary PTCA when appropriate. Low risk patients (age ≤70 years, left ventricular ejection fraction >45%, one- or two-vessel disease, successful PTCA, no persistent arrhythmias) were randomized to receive accelerated care (admission to a nonintensive care unit and day 3 hospital discharge without noninvasive testing [n = 237] or traditional care [n = 234]). Results. Patients who received accelerated care had similar in-hospital outcomes but were discharged 3 days earlier (4.2 ± 2.3 vs. 7.1 ± 4.7 days, p = 0.0001) and had lower hospital costs ($9,658 ± 5,287 vs. $11,604 ± 6,125 p = 0.002) than the patients who received traditional care. At 6 months, accelerated and traditional care groups had a similar rate of mortality (0.8% vs. 0.4%, p = 1.00), unstable ischemia (10.1% vs. 12.0%, p = 0.52), reinfarction (0.8% vs. 0.4%, p = 1.00), stroke (0.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.07), congestive heart failure (4.6% vs. 43%, p = 0.85) or their combined occurrence (15.2% vs. 17.5%, p = 0.49). The study was designed to detect a 10% difference in event rates; at 6 months, only a 2.3% difference was measured between groups, indicating an actual power of 0.19. Conclusions. Early identification of low risk patients with MI allowed safe omission of the intensive care phase and noninvasive testing, and a day 3 hospital discharge strategy, resulting in substantial cost savings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)967-972
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes


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