Clinical outcomes of bivalirudin for ischemic heart disease.
BACKGROUND: Current treatment strategies for percutaneous coronary revascularization and acute coronary syndromes incorporate thrombin inhibition with either unfractionated or fractionated heparin. The peptide bivalirudin (Hirulog) is a direct thrombin inhibitor whose pharmacological properties differ from those of heparin. We conducted a systematic overview (meta-analysis) to assess the effect of bivalirudin on 4 end points: death, myocardial infarction, major hemorrhage, and the composite of death or infarction. METHODS AND RESULTS: Six trials (5674 patients) represent the randomized, controlled bivalirudin experience, including 4603 patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary revascularization and 1071 patients with acute coronary syndromes. ORs for the 4 clinical end points were calculated for each trial. Four trials (4973 patients) that compared bivalirudin with heparin were combined with the use of a random-effects model. In these trials, bivalirudin was associated with a significant reduction in the composite of death or infarction (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.95; P=0.02) at 30 to 50 days, or 14 fewer events per 1000 patients so treated. There also was a significant reduction in major hemorrhage for the same trials (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0. 32 to 0.52; P<0.001, or 58 fewer events per 1000 patients so treated). A similar analysis combined 2 dose-ranging trials (701 patients) that compared therapeutic (activated partial thromboplastin time more than twice the control time) with subtherapeutic bivalirudin anticoagulation (activated partial thromboplastin time less than twice the control time). CONCLUSIONS: Bivalirudin is at least as effective as heparin, with clearly superior safety. Thus, it provides an unprecedented net clinical benefit over heparin in patients with ischemic heart disease.
Kong, DF; Topol, EJ; Bittl, JA; White, HD; Théroux, P; Hasselblad, V; Califf, RM
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