Combined Angioplasty and Pharmacological Intervention Versus Thrombolytics Alone in Acute Myocardial Infarction - CAPITAL AMI


The goal of the trial was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of treatment with thrombolytic therapy alone (tenectaplase [TNK]) compared with thrombolytic therapy followed by transfer and subsequent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).


Use of thrombolytic therapy followed by PCI will be associated with improved outcomes compared with treatment with thrombolytic therapy alone in patients with STEMI.

Study Design

Study Design:

Patients Screened: 417
Patients Enrolled: 170
Mean Follow Up: Six months
Mean Patient Age: Median age 58 years
Female: 26

Patient Populations:

Presentation with ST elevation acute MI with chest pain ≥30 minutes and presentation within six hours of symptom onset


Contraindication to thrombolytic therapy, prior coronary artery bypass grafting, PTCA within six months, use of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor within seven days, renal impairment, or cardiogenic shock

Primary Endpoints:

Composite of death, reinfarction, recurrent unstable ischemia, or stroke, measured at 30 days and at six months

Secondary Endpoints:

Left ventricular EF measured at one week and at 30 days, TIMI major bleeding, congestive heart failure, length of hospital stay, and cost-effectiveness

Drug/Procedures Used:

Patients presenting at four centers in Ottawa, Canada with STEMI were randomized to full-dose TNK alone (n=84) or full-dose TNK followed by immediate transfer for PCI (n=86) to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Patients who failed medical therapy alone were subsequently transferred for PCI.

Concomitant Medications:

Unfractionated heparin (60 U/kg) intravenously plus infusion to target activated partial thromboplastin time of 50-70 seconds

Principal Findings:

PCI was performed in 91% of patients in the combination therapy arm. In the TNK alone arm, 50% of patients underwent PCI during the index hospitalization. Anterior MI location was present in 48% in the TNK alone arm and 52% in the TNK+PCI arm.

The composite 6 month event rate of death, reinfarction, recurrent unstable ischemia, or stroke was lower in the TNK+PCI arm compared with the TNK alone arm (11.6% vs. 24.4%, p=0.04), driven by a reduction in recurrent unstable ischemia (8.1% vs. 20.7%, p=0.03) and a trend toward less reinfarction (5.8% vs. 14.6%, p=0.07). There was no difference in death (3.5% vs 3.7%) or stroke (1.2% each).

There was no difference in in-hospital major bleed (7.1% for TNK alone vs. 8.1% for TNK+PCI, p=NS) or ejection fraction (EF) at day 7 (53% vs. 49%, p=NS) or day 30 (55% vs. 52%, p=NS). Length of hospital stay was shorter in the TNK+PCI arm (five days vs. six days, p=0.02).


Among patients with STEMI, treatment with full-dose TNK with transfer for PCI was associated with a lower rate of the composite of death, reinfarction, recurrent unstable ischemia, or stroke at 6 months compared with TNK alone, without an increased risk of major bleeding.

Results of the present trial differ from earlier trials such as the TIMI II trial, which showed no benefit of medical therapy plus percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) over medical therapy alone. However, the differing results are not unexpected, given the substantial changes in practice patterns since the earlier trials (widespread use of stents, optimal anticoagulation, and use of thienopyridines). Additionally, half of the patients in the TNK alone group underwent PCI during the index hospitalization.


Le May MR, et al. Combined Angioplasty and Pharmacological Intervention Versus Thrombolysis Alone in Acute Myocardial Infarction (CAPITAL AMI Study). J Am Coll Cardiol 2005;46:417–24.

Presented by Dr. Michel R. Le May at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session, March 2004.

Clinical Topics: Anticoagulation Management, Dyslipidemia, Invasive Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention, Lipid Metabolism

Keywords: Thrombolytic Therapy, Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, Cardiac Catheterization, Canada, Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments, Fibrinolytic Agents, Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary, Stents, Length of Stay, Thienopyridines, Chest Pain, Fibrinolysis, Recombinant Proteins, Tissue Plasminogen Activator

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