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The REFLO-STEMI trial comparing intracoronary adenosine, sodium nitroprusside and standard therapy for the attenuation of infarct size and microvascular obstruction during primary percutaneous coronary intervention: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Vijay Kunadian



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: Microvascular obstruction (MVO) secondary to ischaemic-reperfusion injury is an important but underappreciated determinant of short-and longer-term outcome following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) treatment of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Several small studies have demonstrated a reduction in the degree of MVO utilising a variety of vasoactive agents, with adenosine and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) being most evaluated. However, the evidence base remains weak as the trials have had variable endpoints, differing drug doses and delivery. As such, the results regarding benefit are conflicting.Methods: The REperfusion Facilitated by LOcal adjunctive therapy in STEMI (REFLO-STEMI) trial is a multicentre, prospective, randomised, controlled, open label, study with blinded endpoint analysis: Patients presenting within 6 h of onset of STEMI and undergoing planned primary PCI (P-PCI) with TIMI 0/1 flow in the infarct-related artery (IRA) and no significant bystander coronary artery disease on angiography, are randomised into one of three groups: PCI with adjunctive pharmacotherapy (intracoronary adenosine or SNP) or control (standard PCI). All receive Bivalirudin anticoagulation and thrombus aspiration. The primary outcome is infarct size (IS) (determined as a percentage of total left ventricular mass) measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) undertaken at 48 to 72 h post P-PCI. Secondary outcome measures include MVO (hypoenhancement within infarct core) on CMRI, angiographic markers of microvascular perfusion and MACE during 1-month follow-up. The study aims to recruit 240 patients (powered at 80% to detect a 5% absolute reduction in IS).Discussion: The REFLO-STEMI study has been designed to address the weaknesses of previous trials, which have collectively failed to demonstrate whether adjunctive pharmacotherapy with adenosine and/or SNP can reduce measures of myocardial injury (infarct size and MVO) and improve clinical outcome, despite good basic evidence that they have the potential to attenuate this process. The REFLO-STEMI study will be the most scientifically robust trial to date evaluating whether adjunctive therapy (intracoronary adenosine or SNP following thrombus aspiration) reduces CMRI measured IS and MVO in patients undergoing P-PCI within 6 h of onset of STEMI.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nazir SA, Khan JN, Mahmoud IZ, Greenwood JP, Blackman DJ, Kunadian V, Been M, Abrams KR, Wilcox R, Adgey AAJ, McCann GP, Gershlick AH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Trials

Year: 2014

Volume: 15

Online publication date: 25/09/2014

Acceptance date: 10/09/2014

Date deposited: 11/12/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1745-6215

Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.


DOI: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-371


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