Upstream Clopidogrel Use and the Efficacy and Safety of Early Eptifibatide Treatment in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome
An Analysis From the Early Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibition in Patients With Non-ST-Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome (EARLY ACS) Trial
Background—In the Early Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibition in Patients with Non–ST-Segment Elevation Acute Coronary Syndrome (EARLY ACS) trial, routine preangiography eptifibatide use was not superior to delayed provisional use but led to more bleeding. This analysis examines efficacy and safety of early eptifibatide in the setting of concurrent upstream clopidogrel use.
Methods and Results—In EARLY-ACS, clopidogrel use and timing were determined by treating physicians, but randomization to early eptifibatide versus placebo was stratified by the intent to use upstream clopidogrel. Among 9166 non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome patients who underwent coronary angiography, intent to use upstream clopidogrel was declared in 6895 (75%), and 7068 (77%) received upstream clopidogrel. After multivariable adjustment, intended upstream clopidogrel use did not differentially influence the effect of early eptifibatide on the primary end point of 96-hour death/myocardial infarction/recurrent ischemia requiring urgent revascularization/thrombotic bailout (interaction P=0.988). Early eptifibatide use reduced 30-day death/myocardial infarction among patients with intended upstream clopidogrel (adjusted odds ratio 0.85; 95% confidence interval 0.73 to 0.99) but not among those without intended upstream clopidogrel use (adjusted odds ratio 1.02; 95% confidence interval 0.80 to 1.30). However, the clopidogrel by randomized treatment interaction term was not significant (P=0.23). Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction major bleeding risk was increased with early eptifibatide in the setting of upstream clopidogrel use. Results were similar using actual clopidogrel treatment strata.
Conclusions—Routine early eptifibatide use, compared with delayed provisional use, may be associated with lower 30-day ischemic risk in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome patients also treated with clopidogrel before angiography. The benefit–risk ratio of intensive platelet inhibition with combined early use of antiplatelet agents needs further evaluation in prospective randomized trials.
- Received March 31, 2010.
- Accepted December 17, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.