Use of proven therapies in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes according to evidence-based risk stratification

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Outcomes Research; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Acute Disease; Aged; Angina, Unstable; *Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary; Enoxaparin; Evidence-Based Medicine; Fibrinolytic Agents; *Heart Catheterization; Humans; Middle Aged; Myocardial Infarction; Practice Guidelines as Topic; Registries; Risk Assessment; Syndrome


Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Current guidelines advise the use of risk stratification to determine which patients should receive more aggressive antithrombotic and invasive therapies. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between risk stratification and therapeutic decision making in patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes.

METHODS: We analyzed data from 15,026 patients with acute coronary syndrome who were enrolled into the GRACE registry between 1999 and 2003. We assessed the evidence-based use of antithrombotic therapy and early invasive strategy according to risk profile defined by baseline troponin elevation, presenting ST-segment depression, and GRACE risk score. Patients with possible contraindications were removed to define the use of therapies specifically among clearly eligible patients.

RESULTS: Patients with elevated troponin were more likely to receive enoxaparin (60% vs 50.4%, respectively), GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors (32.8% vs 17.6%), and to undergo catheterization (66% vs 54%) and percutaneous coronary intervention (37.4% vs 25.6%; all P < .0001). Patients with ST depression received modestly more enoxaparin and GP IIb/IIIa than those without ST depression, but not more catheterization (P = .8) or percutaneous coronary intervention (P = .09). Highest risk patients were somewhat less likely to receive enoxaparin (P < .0001) and cardiac catheterization (P = .0002) according to GRACE risk deciles.

CONCLUSIONS: In spite of current guidelines recommending the use of selected therapies in high-risk patients, there is no clear correlation of use of effective therapies with overall risk profile even among eligible patients. Thus, there is substantial opportunity to improve use of effective therapies, especially in high-risk populations.

DOI of Published Version



Am Heart J. 2007 Apr;153(4):493-9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American heart journal

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID