BACKGROUND: In acute myocardial infarction, thrombus aspiration prior to percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) is often beneficial, but this approach has never been studied in patients without acute myocardial infarction. The aim of this retrospective study is to shed light on that topic based on our initial experience with manual thrombus aspiration in patients with stable or unstable angina pectoris and angiographic evidence of lesion-site thrombus.
METHODS: We assessed the feasibility (thrombus aspiration without predilatation) of this approach; in addition, we determined angiographic coronary flow and myocardial blush grade.
RESULTS: During 33 months in which a total of 4725 PCI were performed in our centre, manual thrombus aspiration was attempted in 14 patients with stable or unstable angina pectoris with angiographic evidence of thrombus. In nine of these 14 patients, the aspiration catheter could be advanced into the lesion without predilatation; in eight patients visible thrombus was obtained. The corrected TIMI frame count improved during the entire interventional procedure (21.1±11.2 vs. 12.8±5.9 frames; p=0.015). Myocardial blush grade, which overall improved during PCI (p<0.001), tended to show greater improvement in patients in whom thrombus aspiration could be achieved (1.6±0.9 vs. 0.7±0.5; p=0.06).
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence suggests that manual thrombus aspiration may occasionally be considered in selected patients without acute myocardial infarction but with angiographic evidence of lesion-site thrombus. Nevertheless, prospective studies are required to clearly define the role of this approach in clinical practice.
- Thrombus aspiration
- Aspiration catheter
- Coronary intervention
- Distal embolization