Eight studies (n=2,322 patients) were reported in the review: five randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (n=577) and three retrospective studies (n=1,545). Sample sizes ranged from 45 to 1,005. Follow-up ranged from one to 12 months.
In comparison with intravenous abciximab, intracoronary abciximab significantly reduced mortality (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.94, I2=0%; three retrospective studies and four RCTs). There was no significant difference between intravenous and intracoronary abciximab with respect to the rate of MACE; this analysis was associated with a significant level of heterogeneity (I2=66.5%; three retrospective studies and four RCTs).
Further analyses that removed each study in turn failed to remove the heterogeneity. Meta-regression with seven baseline variables (age, gender, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, follow-up duration and ratio of STEMI patients) failed to identify any significant confounding variable. Significant differences in mortality in favour of intracoronary were most apparent in studies of patients with STEMI and in short-term (one month) studies.