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Clinical research

Comparison of primary angioplasty in rural and metropolitan areas within an integrated network

1. Invasive Cardiology 2, Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy; 2. Cardiology Department, Health District 11 Empoli, Florence, Italy; 3. Interventional Cardiology, Division of Cardiology, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 4. Department of Cardiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, & Imperial College, Sydney Street, London, United Kingdom

Aims: To compare reperfusion times and in-hospital outcome of patients with STEMI treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in a teaching hospital (TH) with or without inter-hospital transfer and in community hospitals.

Methods and results: We performed a retrospective analysis of 536 patients with STEMI treated between January 2005 and December 2006 with primary PCI. Three groups were identified. A: 207 patients presented to the TH. B: 121 patients transferred to TH from metropolitan area hospitals (MAH). C: 208 patients presented in two rural area hospitals (RAH) with primary PCI capability.

Baseline characteristics were similar. Door-to-balloon (DtB) times were significantly (p<0.001) higher in group B (median 120, range 90-180 min) both compared to group A (median 60, range 45-90 min) and C (median 73, range 55-99 min). In group B 79,5% of patients present a DtB > 90 min. In-hospital mortality was 4.9%, 3.3% and 4.3% respectively in group A, B and C without significant differences.

Conclusions: The expansion of primary PCI to RAH achieves reperfusion delays similar to that of patients admitted to TH. Transferred patients present very higher DtB when compared to patients treated on-site. In-hospital outcome are similar but further studies are warranted.

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