A randomized trial of intravenous heparin in conjunction with anistreplase (anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex) in acute myocardial infarction: the Duke University Clinical Cardiology Study (DUCCS) 1.
OBJECTIVES: We designed a randomized trial to evaluate the effects of heparin administration in conjunction with anistreplase (anisoylated plasminogen streptokinase activator complex [APSAC]) on arterial patency and clinical end points. BACKGROUND: The role of conjunctive intravenous heparin therapy with APSAC has not been tested despite the recommendations that intravenous heparin should be used. METHODS: Four hours after APSAC administration, 250 patients with acute myocardial infarction were randomly assigned to receive 325 mg of either aspirin alone or aspirin and a continuous infusion of heparin (15 IU/kg body weight per h). Clinical ischemic events and bleeding complications were monitored. On hospital day 5, coronary arteriography and left ventriculography were performed. RESULTS: The primary end point of the trial (the combined outcome of death, reinfarction, recurrent ischemia and occlusion of the infarct-related artery) occurred in 42% of the heparin-treated group versus 43% of the group treated without heparin (p = 0.94). A patent infarct-related artery was present in 80% of the patients treated with heparin and in 73% of those treated without heparin (p = 0.26). Left ventricular function, as measured by ejection fraction, was well preserved in both groups (52% vs. 50.5%, respectively, p = 0.29). The overall bleeding rate was higher in patients with (32%) than without (17.2%) heparin (p = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: Weight-adjusted intravenous heparin therapy after APSAC in acute myocardial infarction does not reduce the combined incidence of death, reinfarction, recurrent ischemia and occlusion of the infarct-related artery. Furthermore, withholding intravenous heparin therapy is associated with a 46% reduction in bleeding complications. Our findings do not support the addition of intravenous heparin after APSAC therapy, as currently recommended, and suggest that a strategy of withholding heparin is simpler and safer and does not place the patient at increased risk for ischemic complications after myocardial infarction.
O'Connor, CM; Meese, R; Carney, R; Smith, J; Conn, E; Burks, J; Hartman, C; Roark, S; Shadoff, N; Heard, M
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