Percutaneous Coronary Intervention with Procedural Unfractionated Heparin without Activated Clotting Time Guidance: A Unique Opportunity to Assess Thrombotic and Bleeding Events

Int J Clin Pract. 2024 Feb 15:2024:6219301. doi: 10.1155/2024/6219301. eCollection 2024.


Background: Rates of major bleeding and intraprocedural thrombotic events (IPTE) in the setting of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) using weight-adjusted unfractionated heparin (UFH) without activated clotting time (ACT) monitoring are not known.

Methods: We reviewed 2,748 consecutive patients who underwent coronary angiography at our tertiary care university hospital between January 2017 and December 2020. All patients who underwent PCI with weight-adjusted UFH without ACT guidance were considered for further analysis. Major bleeding complications occurring within 48 hours of PCI were collected from patients' medical records. IPTE were collected independently by two interventional cardiologists after review of coronary angiograms.

Results: There were 718 patients included in the analysis (65.4 ± 12.2 years old; 81.3% male). In total, 45 patients (7.8%) experienced a major bleed or IPTE. The most common IPTE were slow/no reflow (1.5%) and coronary artery dissection with decreased flow (1.1%). Other IPTE occurred in <1% of cases. Major bleeding occurred in 11 patients (1.5%), of whom 8 required blood transfusion and 3 required vascular intervention. Bleeding complications were more common with femoral compared with radial access (6.6% vs. 0.2%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Weight-adjusted UFH use during PCI without ACT monitoring was related to low rates of major bleeding or IPTE.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Heparin / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Thrombosis*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Heparin
  • Anticoagulants