Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Anaesth. 2010 Mar;104(3):285-91. doi: 10.1093/bja/aep373. Epub 2010 Jan 3.

Urgent surgery in patients with a recently implanted coronary drug-eluting stent: a phase II study of 'bridging' antiplatelet therapy with tirofiban during temporary withdrawal of clopidogrel.

Author information

Department of Cardiology, Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda, Piazza Ospedale Maggiore 3, 20162 Milan, Italy.



Patients with a recently implanted coronary drug-eluting stent (DES) who need urgent surgery are at increased risk of surgical bleeding unless clopidogrel is discontinued beforehand, but clopidogrel discontinuation has been associated with a high rate of adverse events due to stent thrombosis. This pilot study tested the hypothesis that the i.v. perioperative administration of the short-acting antiplatelet agent tirofiban allows the safe withdrawal of clopidogrel without increasing the rate of surgical bleeding.


Phase II study with a Simon two-stage design.


Thirty patients with a recently implanted DES [median (range) 4 (1-12) months] and high-risk characteristics for stent thrombosis underwent urgent major surgery or eye surgery. Clopidogrel was to be withdrawn 5 days before surgery, and tirofiban started 24 h later, continued until 4 h before surgery, and resumed 2 h after surgery until oral clopidogrel was resumed. The use of aspirin was decided by the surgeon. There were no cases of death, myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis, or surgical re-exploration due to bleeding during the index admission, with a risk estimate of 0-11.6% (one-tail 97.5% CI). There was one case of thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) major and one of TIMI minor bleeding in the postoperative phase; another four patients were transfused without meeting the TIMI criteria for major or minor bleeding.


In patients with a recently implanted DES and high-risk characteristics for stent thrombosis needing urgent surgery, a 'bridging strategy' using i.v. tirofiban may allow temporary withdrawal of oral clopidogrel without increasing the risk of bleeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center