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Debate: Should the elderly receive thrombolytic therapy, or primary angioplasty, for acute myocardial infarction? The case for primary angioplasty

DOI: 10.1186/cvm-1-3-146

Keywords: elderly , myocardial infarction , primary angioplasty

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As the population ages the number of elderly patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) will continue to increase. There has been no head-to-head trial of thrombolytic therapy versus primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in this patient cohort, but there is evidence that favors primary PCI. Most elderly patients are candidates for primary PCI, but many have contraindications to thrombolytic therapy. Hemorrhagic complications are more common in the elderly, and many of these patients present with conditions in which thrombolytic agents have decreased efficacy, such as heart failure or prior bypass surgery. PCI can also obviate the need for further risk stratification in most patients.


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