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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1996 Mar 1;27(3):536-42.

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled dose-ranging study of tirofiban (MK-383) platelet IIb/IIIa blockade in high risk patients undergoing coronary angioplasty.

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  • 1Christ Hospital Cardiovascular Research Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45219, USA.



The objectives of this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized dose-ranging study were 1) to examine the safety and tolerability of tirofiban (MK-383), a new nonpeptide platelet IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist, on a background of intravenous heparin and aspirin therapy; 2) to study the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of tirofiban; and 3) to evaluate the incidence of adverse cardiac outcomes (urgent repeat revascularization, myocardial infarction and death) with tirofiban versus placebo in a high risk subset of patients undergoing coronary angioplasty.


Abrupt vessel closure complicates 4% to 8% of angioplasty procedures. Recent data have suggested that agents that antagonize the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor may reduce the incidence of adverse ischemic outcomes after coronary angioplasty.


Seventy-three patients received tirofiban in three sequential dose panels and 20 patients received placebo. Patients within each panel were randomized to receive either tirofiban or placebo in a 3:1 randomization design. Bolus doses of 5, 10 and 10 microg/kg and continuous infusion (16 to 24 h) doses of 0.05, 0.10 and 0.15 microg/kg per min were administered in panels I, II and III, respectively. Patients received concomitant heparin and aspirin for the angioplasty procedure. Data on patients receiving placebo (heparin and aspirin only) were pooled across panels for comparisons. The pharmacodynamic effect of tirofiban on ex vivo platelet aggregation to 5 micromol/liter adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and bleeding times were measured. Clinical outcomes were assessed in all patients, but the power to detect clinically meaningful differences (a one-third reduction in clinical events) between groups was limited (5%).


Tirofiban was associated with a dose-dependent inhibition of ex vivo ADP-mediated platelet aggregation that was sustained during intravenous infusion and resolved rapidly after drug cessation. Adverse bleeding events, largely related to vascular access site hemorrhage, were slightly increased at the highest dose. Adverse clinical outcomes were infrequent in all patients and were not different among the small number of patients within each group.


This study establishes a rational and generally well tolerated dosing regimen for administration of tirofiban as adjunctive therapy in high risk angioplasty patients. The impact of tirofiban on adverse clinical outcomes after angioplasty awaits definition by a larger clinical trial.

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