Short-term heparin therapy has been administered routinely after primary coronary stenting. However, heparin therapy results in a significantly higher incidence of bleeding and vascular complications. A new therapeutic regimen of ticlopidine and aspirin without further heparin after coronary stenting in patients without AMI has been shown to be safe and reduce the incidence of stent thrombosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a new therapeutic regimen of aspirin and ticlopidine without heparin is safe and effective in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) who have undergone primary coronary stenting and have Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) grade 3 flow in the infarct-related artery.
Between January 1997 and September 1999, one hundred and fifty two consecutive patients with AMI on Killip score 1 or 2 who underwent primary coronary stenting resulting in TIMI grade 3 flow were enrolled and divided into two groups: Group 1 (n = 95 patients) received aspirin, ticlopidine and further intravenous heparin infusion for 48 hours following primary coronary stenting; Group 2 (n = 57 patients) received only aspirin and ticlopidine without further heparin therapy following primary coronary stenting. No in-hospital major cardiac events were observed in either group. However, the combined incidence of bleeding and vascular complications (27.4% vs 12.3%, p = 0.029) and the need for blood transfusions (9.5% vs 0%, p = 0.013) were significantly higher in Group 1 patients. Furthermore, hospital stay was also longer in Group 1 patients (5.8 ± 2.4 vs 4.7 ± 1.7 days, p = 0.0003). At the 30-day follow-up, there were no differences (1.05% vs 0%, p = 0.63) in the combined incidence of vascular complications and the major cardiac events were similar (1.05% vs 1.75%, p = 0.71) between the groups.
The results suggest that further heparin therapy following primary coronary stenting increases the combined incidence of bleeding and vascular complications as well as the need for blood transfusions and prolongs the length of hospital stay without further benefit to those patients with coronary flow restored to TIMI 3 grade flow.
2000 by the Japanese Heart Journal