Monday, April 2, 2018

Down with STEMI

EMCrit RACC - April 1, 2018 - By Pendell Meyers
"The current guideline-recommended paradigm of acute MI management (“STEMI vs. NSTEMI”) is irreversibly flawed, and has prevented meaningful progress in the science of emergent reperfusion therapy over the past 25 years. Dr. Stephen Smith, my mentor and co-editor of this post, has been saying this much more eloquently for many years in his “STEMI/NSTEMI False Dichotomy” lecture series, but this bears repeating and needs to be reiterated as widely as possible.
Deciding which patients need emergent reperfusion therapy is complex, and our current criteria for doing so are not adequate to the task. The patients who benefit from emergent catheterization are those with acute coronary occlusion (ACO) or near occlusion, with insufficient collateral circulation, whose myocardium is at imminent risk of irreversible infarction without immediate reperfusion therapy. This is the anatomic substrate of the entity we are supposed to refer to as “STEMI.” Unfortunately the term “STEMI” restricts our minds into thinking that ACO is diagnosed reliably and/or only by “STEMI criteria” and the ST segments. In reality, the STEMI criteria and widespread current performance under the current paradigm have unacceptable accuracy, routinely missing at least 25-30% of ACO in those classified as “NSTEMI”(1-9) and generating a similar false positive rate of emergent cath lab activations (10-12)..."