AIM: Distal embolization during primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) may result in reduced myocardial perfusion, infarct extension and impaired prognosis. In a prospective randomized trial, we assessed the effect of routine filterwire distal protection on scintigraphic estimated infarct size. METHODS AND RESULTS: The effect of routine filterwire distal protection was evaluated in 344 patients with STEMI <12 hours undergoing primary PCI. Patients were randomized to distal protection with a filterwire or standard PCI. The primary endpoint was myocardial infarct size measured by Sestamibi SPECT after 30 days (%). Secondary endpoints included myocardial salvage, ST-segment resolution (STR), myocardial biomarker release and major adverse cardiac and cerebral events. Baseline characteristics including area at risk (estimated by Sestamibi SPECT) were similar. Final infarct size was not statistically different in the distal protection and the control groups (median [IQR], 6% [1-19] and 5% [1-14], P = .23). Also, secondary endpoints were similar in the two treatment groups. CONCLUSION: Distal protection with a filterwire performed as routine therapy in primary PCI for STEMI did not reduce myocardial infarct size. The study does not support routine use of distal protection in primary PCI.
Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, 2009, Vol 16, Issue 5, p. 784-91