Objectives: This study sought to determine if the efficacy of bivalirudin alone versus heparin plus a glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitor is dependent upon the duration of clopidogrel pre-treatment in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in the ACUITY (Acute Catheterization and Urgent Intervention Triage strategY) trial.
Background: The administration of a clopidogrel loading dose several hours before PCI reduces the risk of periprocedural thrombotic events.
Methods: Patients with an acute coronary syndrome were randomized to heparin plus a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor (control), bivalirudin plus a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor, or bivalirudin alone. Dose and timing of clopidogrel were left to the investigator's discretion.
Results: Of 13,819 patients randomized, 7,789 underwent PCI. When clopidogrel was initiated at any time before angiography or within 30 min after PCI, randomization to bivalirudin alone (n = 2,284) or control (n = 2,189) was associated with similar ischemic outcomes (8.2% vs. 8.3%, risk ratio: 0.98, 95% confidence interval: 0.81 to 1.20). Those patients who received clopidogrel >30 min after PCI or not at all experienced an increase in ischemic events when randomized to bivalirudin alone (n = 290) versus control (n = 317) (14.1% vs. 8.5%, risk ratio: 1.66, 95% confidence interval: 1.05 to 2.63). Major bleeding was significantly less frequent in patients treated with bivalirudin alone.
Conclusions: This post-hoc analysis suggests that in acute coronary syndrome patients, as long as clopidogrel is administered before or within 30 min of PCI treatment with bivalirudin alone is similarly effective to heparin plus a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor in suppressing 30-day ischemic events with significantly less bleeding. If it is anticipated that clopidogrel will be given late or not at all after PCI, bivalirudin alone may be associated with worse ischemic outcomes. (Comparison of Angiomax Versus Heparin in Acute Coronary Syndromes; NCT00093158).