Abciximab and heparin versus bivalirudin for non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction
Background: The combination of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors and heparin has not been compared with bivalirudin in studies specifically involving patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). We compared the two treatments in this patient population. Methods: Immediately before PCI, we randomly assigned, in a double-blind manner, 1721 patients with acute non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction to receive abciximab plus unfractionated heparin (861 patients) or bivalirudin (860 patients). The study tested the hypothesis that abciximab and heparin would be superior to bivalirudin with respect to the primary composite end point of death, large recurrent myocardial infarction, urgent target-vessel revascularization, or major bleeding within 30 days. Secondary end points included the composite of death, any recurrent myocardial infarction, or urgent target-vessel revascularization (efficacy end point) and major bleeding (safety end point) within 30 days. Results: The primary end point occurred in 10.9% of the patients in the abciximab group (94 patients) and in 11.0% in the bivalirudin group (95 patients) (relative risk with abciximab, 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.74 to 1.32; P = 0.94). Death, any recurrent myocardial infarction, or urgent target-vessel revascularization occurred in 12.8% of the patients in the abciximab group (110 patients) and in 13.4% in the bivalirudin group (115 patients) (relative risk, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.25; P = 0.76). Major bleeding occurred in 4.6% of the patients in the abciximab group (40 patients) as compared with 2.6% in the bivalirudin group (22 patients) (relative risk, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.10 to 3.07; P = 0.02). Conclusions: Abciximab and unfractionated heparin, as compared with bivalirudin, failed to reduce the rate of the primary end point and increased the risk of bleeding among patients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction who were undergoing PCI. (Funded by Nycomed Pharma and others; ISAR-REACT 4 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00373451.) Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society.