In the last decades, advances in percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) strategies have significantly reduced the risk of procedural complications and in-hospital mortality of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), thus increasing the population of stable post-ACS patients. This novel epidemiological scenario emphasizes the importance of implementing secondary preventive and follow-up strategies. The follow-up of patients after ACS or elective PCI should be based on common pathways and on the close collaboration between hospital cardiologists and primary care physicians. However, the follow-up strategies of these patients are still poorly standardized. This SICI-GISE/SICOA consensus document was conceived as a proposal for the long-term management of post-ACS or post-PCI patients based on their individual residual risk of cardiovascular adverse events. We defined five patient risk classes and five follow-up strategies including medical visits and examinations according to a specific time schedule. We also provided a short guidance for the selection of the appropriate imaging technique for the assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction and of non-invasive anatomical or functional tests for the detection of obstructive coronary artery disease. Physical and pharmacological stress echocardiography was identified as the first-line imaging technique in most of cases, while cardiovascular magnetic resonance should be preferred when an accurate evaluation of left ventricular ejection fraction is needed. The standardization of the follow-up pathways of patients with a history of ACS or elective PCI, shared between hospital doctors and primary care physicians, could result in a more cost-effective use of resources and potentially improve patient's long-term outcome.
Reference: [SICI-GISE/SICOA Consensus document: Clinical follow-up of patients after acute coronary syndrome or percutaneous coronary intervention].
Guarini P, Saia F, Sidiropulos M, Silverio A, Dellegrottaglie S, Scatteia A, Tedeschi C, Cappelletti AM, Regazzoli D, Benassi A, Donatelli F, America R, Nosso G, Capranzano P, Oliva A, Piccolo R, Testa L, Attisano T, Castiglioni B, Contarini M, De Marco F, Fineschi M, Menozzi A, Musto C, Stefanini G, Tarantini G, Caiazza F, Esposito G. G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2023 Apr;24(4):5-15.