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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1996 Oct;28(4):849-55.

Increased risk of non-Q wave myocardial infarction after directional atherectomy is platelet dependent: evidence from the EPIC trial. Evaluation of c7E3 for the Prevention of Ischemic Complications.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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).


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.

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