Background: Clopidogrel pretreatment before percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been shown to reduce the risk of death and ischemic complications after PCI. However, the need for clopidogrel pretreatment is debated in patients receiving a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (GPI).
Methods: We performed a collaborative meta-analysis of the results of 3 randomized trials of clopidogrel pretreatment: PCI-CURE, CREDO, and PCI-CLARITY. Patients were stratified based on GPI use at the time of PCI (a postrandomization subgroup analysis). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs for the effect of clopidogrel pretreatment versus placebo pretreatment on the incidence of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke for up to 30 days after PCI were calculated for each trial within each GPI stratum and were combined using a random effects model.
Results: Six thousand three hundred twenty-five patients were included, 32.4% of whom received a GPI. There was a consistent benefit of clopidogrel pretreatment in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke after PCI both in patients who did not receive a GPI (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.53-0.98, P = .03) and in those who did (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.47-1.00, P = .05). There was no evidence of heterogeneity in the benefit of clopidogrel pretreatment between GPI use strata (P = .85 for heterogeneity). Clopidogrel pretreatment was not associated with a significant excess of TIMI major or minor bleeding, either in those who did not receive a GPI (OR 1.20, 95% CI 0.76-1.92) or in those who did (OR 1.22, 95% CI 0.71-2.09) (P = .97 for heterogeneity).
Conclusion: Clopidogrel pretreatment before PCI is beneficial and safe regardless of whether a GPI is used at the time of PCI.