Non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE-ACS) represent one of the most common clinical presentations of ischemic heart disease. Patients with NSTE-ACS are a heterogeneous population, with different clinical features and prognosis. A significant proportion of this population is medically managed, without any revascularization. In the Italian EYESHOT and French FAST-MI registries, patients managed with a conservative strategy were 40% and 35%, respectively. NSTE-ACS patients not undergoing coronary revascularization are at higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events and have a worse prognosis, including short-And long-Term mortality, compared with those receiving revascularization. Patients with NSTE-ACS medically managed consist of three different subgroups: Those not undergoing coronary angiography, those receiving coronary angiography and without significant coronary artery disease, and those with significant coronary artery disease at angiography but not receiving revascularization. Patients presenting with NSTE-ACS for whom a conservative strategy without coronary angiography is planned should be selected very carefully and coronary angiography should not be denied because of the lack of on-site cath-lab facilities. In addition, advanced age alone, in the absence of severe comorbidities or frailty, should not be considered as a reason for denying coronary angiography and, in general, optimal treatment. Given that evidence-based data are lacking, a careful balance between benefits and risks is needed in the decision to perform or not coronary angiography and/or revascularization in patients with important comorbidities, or frailty, or advanced age. In this decisional process, it should be also taken into consideration the role of coronary anatomy in risk stratification and treatment guidance. NSTE-ACS patients managed without revascularization less frequently receive guideline-recommended pharmacological treatment. Dual antiplatelet therapy is recommended for 12 months also in medically medimanaged patients, after careful balance of ischemic and bleeding risk. Indeed, in this group of patients it is mandatory to optimize pharmacological treatment, including antiplatelet therapy, in order to improve clinical outcome. In NSTE-ACS not undergoing revascularization, the proportion of patients discharged with dual antiplatelet therapy should be increased in comparison to current clinical practice, and the use of ticagrelor instead of clopidogrel should be considered in selected patients.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 1 2016|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine