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Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2006 Oct-Dec;7(4):237-9.

An audit of the use and complications of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors in percutaneous coronary intervention against national UK standards.

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Trent Cardiac Centre, City Hospital Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals, NHS Trust, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK.


Coronary thrombosis is a pivotal event in the pathogenesis of acute coronary syndromes and ischemic complications resulting from coronary intervention. Activation of the platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor is the final common pathway leading to platelet aggregation, coronary thrombus formation, and myocardial ischemia. Inhibitors of platelet GP IIb/IIIa are potent agents to prevent progression to myocardial infarction and death. We prospectively surveyed the indications, frequency, and complications associated with the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors in percutaneous coronary intervention in a tertiary center setting. A total of 170 patients underwent screening over a period of 6 weeks. One hundred four (61%) had coronary intervention, out of which eight (8%) had failed intervention. Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors were used in 57 (55%) patients; 47 (45%) did not have any agent periprocedure. Eptifibatide was the most commonly used agent in 35 (33%), followed by abciximab in 19 (18%) and tirofiban in 3 (3%). Out of 57 patients in whom GP IIb/IIIa agents were used, 22 (38%) had visible intracoronary thrombus, 22 (38%) had diffuse disease, 8 (14%) had complex intervention, and 5 (9%) had diabetes. The overall incidence of complications was not increased by the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors; serious complications were rare with the use of GP IIb/IIIa agents; no stroke, thrombocytopenia, gastrointestinal bleed, or death was recorded. The overall use in emergency settings was not associated with increased complications. Bradycardia and vomiting were more common with abciximab group, whereas puncture site pain was commoner in eptifibatide group.

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