• clopidogrel;
  • eptifibatide;
  • thrombosis


Objective: To describe outcomes when glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GP IIb/IIIa) inhibitors are used as bridging antiplatelet therapy for surgical procedures in patients with drug eluting stents (DES). Background: The optimal management of patients with DES who require surgical procedures prior to completion of antiplatelet therapy is unclear. In high risk patients, the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors as bridging therapy while antiplatelet therapy is held has been described, but safety and efficacy data remain sparse. Methods: A pharmacy database was used to identify GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor orders at our hospital between January 1, 2007 and July 31, 2009. Indication for GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor administration and other clinical data were gathered through retrospective review of medical records. End points assessed were stent thrombosis, major bleeding, minor bleeding, postoperative acute coronary syndrome, and death within 30 days. Results: Four thousand One hundred seventy-six separate orders for GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors were identified (January 1, 2007 to July 31, 2009). Six patients underwent non-cardiac and thirteen underwent cardiac surgery. Clopidogrel was discontinued a median of 6 days before surgery and 2 days prior to initiating GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor. All bridging patients were treated with eptifibatide infusion prior to procedure. There were no stent thromboses, deaths, or acute coronary syndrome events. Major bleeding occurred in 7 (53.9%) cardiac surgery patients and none of the non-cardiac surgery patients, while minor bleeding occurred in 1 (7.7%) and 1 (16.6%) patients, respectively. Conclusions: In patients with DES, who require cessation of clopidogrel before surgery, bridging with GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors appears effective in preventing adverse cardiac outcomes but may be associated with bleeding in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.