Safety and Efficacy of Early Discharge and Outpatient Rehabilitation After Myocardial Infarction for Low-Risk Patients

BACKGROUND:

Guidelines recommend early discharge and rehabilitation after ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in low-risk patients. However, low risk is not established according to well-defined criteria and often it depends on subjective judgment. The aim of this real-life study is to confirm that early discharge is safe in patients at low risk according to selected criteria and subsequent outpatient rehabilitation is associated with clinical benefits.

METHODS:

Patients with STEMI treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention from October 2010 to October 2017, identified as being at low risk (according to predefined criteria), discharged by day 5, were studied retrospectively. Basal characteristics and 30-day outcome were evaluated and a comparison was made between patients who completed or did not complete outpatient rehabilitation.

RESULTS:

We enrolled 193 STEMI patients treated with percutaneous coronary intervention for STEMI, early discharged and at low risk: 132 completed outpatient rehabilitation and 61 did not. The increase in cardiac enzymes and the occurrence of arrhythmias were the only independent predictors of completion of outpatient rehabilitation. After 30 days from discharge, adverse events were rare and not significantly different between groups. Optimal pharmacological therapy was achieved more often in the rehabilitation group (58.3% vs 44.3%; p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Early discharge within 5 days of STEMI has been proved feasible and safe in our population of well-defined low-risk patients. Early participation in a rehabilitation program was associated with a more adequate titration of therapy.