Current management of patients after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) reflects a variety of approaches ranging from conservative to aggressive. Although each method is appropriate in certain subgroups, their application frequently lacks a scientific basis. Current, clinically relevant, evidence-based practice guidelines are needed for secondary prevention for survivors after an AMI. To meet this need, the California Cardiology Working Group was assembled to evaluate the available data from clinical trials and other published studies and develop evidence-based, cost-effective guidelines for clinicians to use as a basis for patient management after an AMI. The group consisted of 18 members, including cardiologists from academic institutions and physicians working in cardiac intensive care, private practices, and managed care settings, representing a broad spectrum of expertise pertaining to patients who have had an AMI. The members had expertise in cardiac intensive care, interventional cardiology, nuclear cardiology, lipid disorders, echocardiography, and cardiac rehabilitation. The intended audience for these practice guidelines includes all physicians who treat survivors of MI. A literature review of all relevant clinical trials and other published data about the natural history after AMI and the effects of current therapeutic modalities are discussed herein. Case histories served as models for application of the literature-based data. The recommendations for management were reached by consensus vote based on the scientific evidence. When more than 1 management option applied, this was recognized in the recommendations. The recommendations accompany the text.
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:273-280