Use of the early invasive approach in the management of acute coronary syndromes
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Large randomized clinical trials of early invasive versus conservative strategy in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE ACS) have been published recently. These studies have clearly shown that intermediate and high-risk patients presenting with NSTE ACS have better outcomes when referred early to cardiac catheterization. Patients who are referred early to cardiac catheterization have a reduction of death, myocardial infarction, and recurrent ischemia, and also have shorter hospital stays. Guidelines recommend referral to cardiac catheterization for intermediate and high-risk NSTE ACS patients within the first 48 hours of presentation. Despite these recommendations, data from a large nationwide registry show that the majority of high-risk patients with NSTE ACS are not being managed with an early invasive strategy.
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