Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion in the review.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies that compared combination therapy with Gp IIbIIIa inhibitors and thrombolyics to Gp IIbIIIa inhibitors alone, followed by pre-planned angiography and angioplasty if indicated, were eligible for inclusion. Trials where post-facilitation angiography was not performed, trials that compared facilitated PCI with thrombolytic therapy alone, or symptom driven-angioplasty trials were excluded from the review.
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients presenting with acute STEMI were eligible for inclusion. Studies were required to have randomised patients within 12 hours of symptom onset. The mean age ranged from 55 to 63 years in the combined therapy group, and from 55 to 62 years in the IIbIIIa inhibitor group.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that evaluated culprit artery patency on admission by Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) flow grades, bleeding and mortality were eligible for inclusion. The study clinical end points included death, reinfarction, new congestive heart failure at 30 days, urgent revascularisation, major bleeding, haemorrhagic stroke and tricuspid valve replacement.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors stated that two reviewers independently identified studies for inclusion in the review.