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JAMA. 2007 May 9;297(18):2001-9.

Clinical outcomes and stent thrombosis following off-label use of drug-eluting stents.

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Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex. USA.



Clinical trials that have excluded patients at high risk for cardiac events have led to commercial labeling approval of drug-eluting stents; nevertheless, such high-risk patients commonly undergo stent placement in clinical practice. The degree to which they experience cardiac events at a higher rate than non-high-risk patients is unclear.


To assess the rates of major adverse cardiac events during the index admission and 1 year after the implantation of drug-eluting stents in patients with high-risk angiographic and clinical features.


From July 2004 to September 2005, consecutive patients who underwent attempted stent placement at 42 different hospitals throughout the United States were enrolled in a prospective multicenter registry. We analyzed outcomes of 3323 patients who received at least 1 drug-eluting stent for a reason other than acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The study population was divided into 2 groups based on presence of at least 1 of 9 off-label characteristics based on the current US Food and Drug Administration-approved indications for sirolimus- and paclitaxel-eluting stents.


The composite clinical outcomes of death, myocardial infarction, or target vessel revascularization during the index admission and death, myocardial infarction, or target lesion revascularization at 1 year were evaluated.


Of the 3323 patients, 1817 (54.7%) had at least 1 off-label characteristic. During the index hospitalization, the composite clinical outcome occurred in 198 (10.9%) of patients in the off-label group and 76 (5.0%) of patients in the on-label group (adjusted odds ratio, 2.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.75-3.07; P<.001). At 1 year, the composite clinical outcome occurred more often in the off-label group compared with the on-label group; 309 (17.5%) vs 131 (8.9%) (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.16; 95% CI, 1.74-2.67; P<.001). Stent thrombosis also occurred more frequently among patients in the off-label group during the initial hospitalization (8 [0.4%] vs 0) and at 1 year: 29 (1.6%) vs 13 (0.9%), adjusted HR, 2.29 (95% CI, 1.02-5.16; P = .05).


Compared with on-label use, off-label use of drug-eluting stents is associated with a higher rate of adverse outcomes during the index admission and at 1 year. Stent thrombosis occurred predominantly in patients who underwent off-label drug-eluting stent implantation. Clinicians should be cautious about extrapolating the benefits of drug-eluting stents over bare-metal stents observed in randomized clinical trials to higher-risk clinical settings that have not been assessed.

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