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Am Heart J. 2010 Mar;159(3):434-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2009.12.020.

Clinical relevance of clopidogrel unresponsiveness during elective coronary stenting: experience with the point-of-care platelet function assay-100 C/ADP.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium.



Early identification of nonresponders to clopidogrel may be important in identifying subgroups of patients that might be at risk for future thrombotic events.


We prospectively assessed postclopidogrel platelet reactivity in 250 consecutive patients scheduled for elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). All patients received dual antiplatelet therapy with 160 mg aspirin and a 300 mg loading dose of clopidogrel >12 hours before PCI. A platelet aggregation test was performed at the time of the intervention using a point-of-care assay, the Platelet Function Assay (PFA-100C/ADP; Dade-Behring, Deerfield, IL). Nonresponders were defined as having a PFA closure time of <71 seconds under dual oral antiplatelet therapy, reflecting normal platelet reactivity. Myonecrosis post-PCI constituted the primary end point and was defined as the release of creatine kinase-MB >1x the upper limit of normal on a sample taken 12 to 24 hours after intervention. The secondary end point was a composite end point of major adverse cardiac events including death, myocardial infarction, and stent thrombosis after 6 months.


The PFA closure time was available in 242 patients and ranged from 31 to 300 seconds with a mean value of 147 seconds. Nonresponders represented 7% (17/242) of the cases. Myonecrosis post-PCI occurred in 29 patients (12%) and was more common in nonresponders than in normal responders (29% vs 11%, respectively; P = .03 on multivariate analysis). Major adverse cardiac events at 6 months occurred in 13 patients (1 sudden death possibly related to stent thrombosis and 12 post-PCI myocardial infarctions) and were more common in the nonresponder group (12% vs 5%, respectively; P = .06 on multivariate analysis).


Unresponsiveness to clopidogrel as assessed by the point-of-care test PFA-100C/ADP is an independent major risk factor for thrombotic complications after coronary intervention.

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