Risk Stratification in Acute Coronary Syndromes
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- Pesarini, G., Santini, F., Geremia, G. et al. J. of Cardiovasc. Trans. Res. (2012) 5: 1. doi:10.1007/s12265-011-9337-4
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Accurate and readily available systems for risk stratification and a wide array of antithrombotic agents, on top of classical anti-ischemic drugs, provide the noninvasive cardiologist admitting the patient in the CCU with an effective and reliable armamentarium for the safe management of most patients with ACS. From the interventionalist’s perspective, the immediate knowledge of the coronary anatomy yields the most valuable information to address the most appropriate treatment. The sooner angiography is performed the higher the benefit for patients at moderate to high risk, but if performed by expert teams and with the correct use of modern drugs and devices, the invasive approach has the potential to reduce costs and length of hospital stay also in low-risk patients. Although still some reluctance remains to equalize treatment strategies for patients with STEMI to those with NSTEMI, such differences will likely disappear in the near future with upcoming new evidence. Cardiac surgery may represent a life-saving alternative for patients presenting with NSTEMI evolving in cardiogenic shock or with mechanical complications, or in patients unsuitable for PCI or with failed PCI attempts. In stabilized conditions after the treatment of the culprit lesion, patients with severe multivessel disease may benefit from cardiac surgery to complete myocardial revascularization. Indications for CABG in this setting should be evaluated in the context of a local “heart team” or through prespecified protocols in centers without cardiac surgery on site.