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OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether a very early invasive strategy (IS)±revascularisation improves clinical outcomes compared with standard care IS in higher risk patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS). METHODS: Multicentre, randomised, controlled, pragmatic strategy trial of higher risk patients with NSTE-ACS, defined by Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events 2.0 score of ≥118, or ≥90 with at least one additional high-risk feature. Participants were randomly assigned to very early IS±revascularisation (<90 min from randomisation) or standard care IS±revascularisation (<72 hours). The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality, new myocardial infarction or hospitalisation for heart failure at 12 months. RESULTS: The trial was discontinued early by the funder due to slow recruitment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 425 patients were randomised, of whom 413 underwent an IS: 204 to very early IS (median time from randomisation: 1.5 hours (IQR: 0.9-2.0)) and 209 to standard care IS (median: 44.0 hours (IQR: 22.9-72.6)). At 12 months, there was no significant difference in the primary outcome between the early IS (5.9%) and standard IS (6.7%) groups (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.42 to 2.09; p=0.86). The incidence of stroke and major bleeding was similar. The length of hospital stay was reduced with a very early IS (3.9 days (SD 6.5) vs 6.3 days (SD 7.6), p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: A strategy of very early IS did not improve clinical outcomes compared with a standard care IS in higher risk patients with NSTE-ACS. However, the primary outcome rate was low and the trial was underpowered to detect such a difference. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03707314.

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acute coronary syndrome, percutaneous coronary intervention