Elective percutaneous coronary intervention using broad-spectrum antiplatelet therapy (eptifibatide, clopidogrel, and aspirin) alone, without scheduled unfractionated heparin or other antithrombin therapy.
BACKGROUND: Adjunctive pharmacotherapy during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has historically consisted of a regimen of antiplatelet agents accompanied by an antithrombin agent, typically unfractionated heparin. Paradoxically, unfractionated heparin may activate platelets, induce other pro-thrombotic activities, increase bleeding complications, and cause thrombocytopenia. To optimize patient care and avoid the potential risks of unfractionated heparin in patients undergoing elective PCI, one of the authors began to use adjunctive pharmacotherapy consisting of broad-spectrum antiplatelet therapy alone, without scheduled unfractionated heparin or other antithrombin therapy. METHODS: Five hundred consecutive patients undergoing scheduled, elective PCI (stent deployment, cutting balloon atherotomy, conventional balloon angioplasty, or high-speed rotational atherectomy) received adjunctive pharmacotherapy consisting of eptifibatide, clopidogrel, and aspirin. RESULTS: The technical success rate was 100%. During the first 24 hours, there were no major adverse clinical events. Non-Q-wave myocardial infarction occurred in 1.6% of patients, major and minor bleeding complications in 0.2% and 0.6%, respectively, and thrombocytopenia in 0.6%. During the first 30 days, there was 1 (0.2%) major adverse clinical event. CONCLUSIONS: For elective PCI, adjunctive pharmacotherapy consisting of broad-spectrum antiplatelet therapy alone, without scheduled unfractionated heparin or other antithrombin therapy, appears to be safe and may prove to be efficacious.
Denardo, SJ; Davis, KE; Tcheng, JE
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