Bleeding risks with abciximab after full-dose thrombolysis in rescue or urgent angioplasty for acute myocardial infarction

Am Heart J. 2001 Feb;141(2):218-25. doi: 10.1067/mhj.2001.112239.


Background: The bleeding risk associated with platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibition in patients undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) after full-dose thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is unclear. We examined the risk and predictors of bleeding complications in patients with AMI who received abciximab during rescue or urgent PTCA after full-dose thrombolytic therapy.

Methods: A multicenter retrospective cohort of 147 consecutive patients who underwent PTCA within 48 hours after full-dose thrombolysis for AMI was studied. Bleeding events (major, minor, nuisance) from the onset of AMI to discharge were compared between those who received abciximab (n = 57) and those who did not (n = 90).

Results: Baseline clinical characteristics were similar between the two groups. Despite lower doses of procedural heparin, the incidence of non-coronary artery bypass graft-related major and minor bleeding was higher in the abciximab group than in controls (63% vs 39%, P =.004). Although the risk of major bleeding was 4-fold with abciximab (12% vs 3%, P =.04), only one intracranial and one fatal bleeding event occurred. Multivariable regression identified abciximab therapy as the most powerful independent predictor of combined major and minor bleeding, with a hazard risk ratio of 1.9 (P =.04).

Conclusions: In the setting of rescue or urgent PTCA within 48 hours after full-dose thrombolytic therapy after AMI, major and particularly minor bleeding were frequently encountered. The adjunctive use of abciximab increased these bleeding risks by approximately 2-fold.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Abciximab
  • Aged
  • Angioplasty, Balloon, Coronary*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Care Units*
  • Female
  • Hematocrit
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Hemorrhage / blood
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
  • Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / administration & dosage
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / adverse effects*
  • Incidence
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / adverse effects*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Hemoglobins
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • Abciximab