Objectives: We sought to determine the effects of platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor blockade on adverse outcomes, especially non-Q wave myocardial infarction, in patients undergoing directional atherectomy in the Evaluation of c7E3 for the Prevention of Ischemic Complications (EPIC) trial.
Background: Randomized trials comparing directional atherectomy with percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) have demonstrated modest benefits favoring atherectomy but at a cost of increased acute ischemic complications, notably non-Q wave myocardial infarction. The mechanism for this excess risk is unknown.
Methods: Of 2,038 high risk patients undergoing coronary intervention in the EPIC trial, directional atherectomy was performed in 197 (10%). Patients randomly received the chimeric glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antibody 7E3 (c7E3), as a bolus or a bolus and 12-h infusion or placebo. Study end points included death, myocardial infarction, repeat intervention or bypass surgery.
Results: Patients undergoing directional atherectomy had a lower baseline risk for acute complications but had a higher incidence of any myocardial infarction (10.7% vs. 6.3%, p = 0.021) and non-Q wave myocardial infarction (9.6% vs. 4.9%, p = 0.006). Bolus and infusion of c7E3 reduced non-Q wave myocardial infarctions by 71% after atherectomy (15.4% for placebo vs. 4.5% for bolus and infusion, p = 0.046). Non-Q wave myocardial infarction rates after PTCA were not affected by c7E3, although Q wave myocardial infarctions were reduced from 2.6% to 0.8% (p = 0.017).
Conclusions: The EPIC trial confirmed the increased risk of non-Q wave myocardial infarction with directional atherectomy use compared with PTCA. A bolus and 12-h infusion of the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor inhibitor c7E3 abolished this excess risk. Directional atherectomy-related non-Q wave myocardial infarction appears to be platelet aggregation dependent.