Perioperative use of tirofiban hydrochloride (Aggrastat) does not increase surgical bleeding after emergency or urgent coronary artery bypass grafting

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2001 Dec;122(6):1181-5. doi: 10.1067/mtc.2001.117838.


Background: The platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor tirofiban hydrochloride improves outcome in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Nevertheless, a considerable number of patients require emergency or urgent coronary artery bypass grafting and may be at increased risk of postoperative bleeding after treatment with this molecule. The aim of this study is to evaluate the incidence of bleeding complications among patients undergoing bypass grafting after treatment with tirofiban.

Methods: We investigated the influence of the molecule on postoperative bleeding after cardiac surgery, comparing 2 groups of patients undergoing emergency or urgent coronary artery bypass grafting: group A (n = 20) received tirofiban, and group B (n = 68) received conventional therapy with intravenous heparin up until the operation. A total of 88 patients underwent coronary artery bypass surgery within 2 hours of ceasing the hemodynamic study. Clinical outcome, chest tube outputs, bleeding complications, transfusion requirements, platelet and hemoglobin counts, and clinical complications were examined.

Results: Bleeding differences were noted between the 2 groups at 8, 16, and 24 hours postoperatively. The incidence of blood, platelet, and fresh frozen plasma transfusions was higher in the control group. Postoperative thrombocytopenia was preserved in group A (199.5 +/- 70.4 vs 150.6 +/- 33.4 10(3)/mL, P <.01). No significant differences were noted between the 2 groups in the incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction, but significant differences were noted in enzyme levels, length of stay in the intensive care unit, and length of stay in the hospital. No deaths were observed. Hospital morbidity was increased in group B because of factors that were not apparently linked with tirofiban infusion.

Conclusions: Patients may safely undergo coronary artery bypass surgery after treatment with tirofiban hydrochloride. This molecule, administered in the immediate preoperative period, has no adverse clinical effects and does not seem to negatively influence the incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction. Although extracorporeal circulation can modify platelet numbers and function, our ongoing data could show significant reduction in the loss of platelets induced by cardiopulmonary bypass, minor postoperative bleeding, and a minor transfusion requirement in general.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Emergencies
  • Female
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tirofiban
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / therapeutic use*


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIIb-IIIa Complex
  • Tyrosine
  • Heparin
  • Tirofiban