In a retrospective analysis of a prospective single center registry we compared the use of bivalirudin, unfractionated heparin (UFH) monotherapy, UFH + abciximab in 1240 consecutive patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) undergoing stent implantation.
Bivalirudin was associated with tendentially reduced in-hospital minor or major bleeding rates compared to UFH monotherapy (5.9 % vs. 9.4 % adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.82, 95 % confidence interval CI 0.45–1.51, p = 0.53) and compared to the pooled UFH group (5.9 % vs. 11.9 %, adjusted OR 0.62, 95 % CI 0.36–1.08, p = 0.09) but with significantly lower bleeding hazards compared to UFH + abciximab (5.9 % vs. 16 %, adjusted OR 0.41, 95 % CI 0.22–0.78, p < 0.01). After 3 years of follow-up, adjusted cardiovascular mortality rates were similar between all groups, particularly between bivalirudin vs. UFH monotherapy (hazard ratio HR 1.12, 95 % CI 0.58–2.16, p = 0.73) and vs. UFH + abciximab (HR 0.91, 95 % CI 0.40–2.10, p = 0.83). Acute or subacute stent thrombosis occurred at a rate of 0.8 % with no significant differences between the groups.
This retrospective analysis in a real world situation of medium to high-risk ACS patients undergoing invasive revascularization confirmed the results of most large-scale randomized trials by demonstrating reduced bleeding rates in favor of bivalirudin vs. UFH + GPI but with no significant differences between treatment strategies for long-term all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.