NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Cancer patients who sustain a heart attack were less likely than non-cancer patients to be treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in a retrospective study.
The authors say PCI is “underutilized” in cancer patients, despite comparable rates of in-hospital mortality and major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) to patients without cancer.
Cancer patients who sustain a heart attack often don’t receive PCI “because the benefits…are unknown, as many of the landmark research trials that studied the effectiveness of these procedures excluded patients with cancer, and (these) patients may be at increased risk from procedural complications such as major bleeding,” Dr. Mamas Mamas of Keele University, UK, told Reuters Health by email.
“We found that patients with cancer are up to 50% less likely to receive PCI compared to patients without cancer,” he said. “Yet we found that if offered this treatment, they have as much benefit as patients without cancer. PCI saves lives in the setting of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), irrespective of whether the patient has cancer or not.”
As reported in the European Heart Journal, Dr. Mamas and colleagues analyzed records of more than a million patients from the National Inpatient Sample between 2004 and 2015.
Close to 39,000 (2.1%) had a current