Background: Practice guidelines support an early invasive strategy in patients with non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes, particularly in those at higher risk. Objectives: To compare North American rates of invasive cardiac procedure use stratified by risk. Methods: Use of invasive cardiac procedures and other care patterns in patients with non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes from the United States (US) Can Rapid risk stratification of Unstable angina patients Suppress ADverse outcomes with Early implementation of the ACC/ AHA guidelines (CRUSADE) National Quality Improvement Initiative (n=88,097; 465 hospitals) and Canadian ACS Registries I (n=1270; 51 hospitals) and 11 (n=1473; 36 hospitals) were compared after dividing patients into different risk categories based on predicted risk of in-hospital mortality. Results: While the overall use of invasive procedures was higher in the US, high-risk patients were least likely to undergo coronary angiography (41% versus 64% in Canada [P<0.0001] and 53% versus 76% in the United States [P<0.0001]) and percutancous coronary intervention (14% versus 32% in Canada [P<0.0001] and 28% versus 51% in the US [P<0.0001]) compared with low-risk patients in both countries, and had longer median waiting times for these procedures (120 h versus 96 h in Canada [P<0.0001] and 34 h versus 23 h in the US [P<0.0001] for coronary angiography). Conclusions: The inverse relationship between risk level and the use of invasive cardiac procedures for patients in the US and Canada suggests that a risk stratification, guided approach for triaging patients to an early invasive management strategy is paradoxically used. This incongruous relationship holds true regardless of resource availability or overall rates of cardiac cathererization.
- Acute coronary syndromes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine