Antiplatelet effects of clopidogrel and bleeding in patients undergoing coronary stent placement


Dirk Sibbing, Deutsches Herzzentrum München, Lazarettstrasse 36, 80636 München, Germany.
Tel.: +49 89 1218 4073; fax: +49 89 1218 4013.


Summary. Background: In patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a link between bleeding and excess mortality has been demonstrated. A potential association of platelet response to clopidogrel and bleeding has not been well established yet. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of clopidogrel responsiveness on the risk of bleeding in clopidogrel-treated patients undergoing PCI. Methods: Patients (n = 2533) undergoing PCI after pretreatment with 600 mg of clopidogrel were enrolled in this study. Blood was obtained directly before PCI. Adenosine-diphosphate (ADP)-induced platelet aggregation was assessed on a Multiplate analyzer. The primary endpoint was the incidence of in-hospital Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) major bleeding and the secondary endpoint was in-hospital TIMI minor bleeding. Receiver-operator curve (ROC) analysis was used to derive the optimal platelet aggregation value defining enhanced clopidogrel responders for the association of measurements with major bleeding. Results: Thirty-four (1.3%) major bleeding events and 137 (5.4%) minor bleeding events were observed. The risk of a major bleeding was significantly higher in patients (n = 975) with an enhanced response to clopidogrel as compared with the remaining patients (n = 1558) (2.2 vs. 0.8%, unadjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3–5.2, P = 0.005; adjusted OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.6–7.3, P = 0.001). No significant differences between both groups were observed for the occurrence of minor bleeding events (P = 0.68). Conclusions: Enhanced clopidogrel responsiveness is associated with a higher risk of major bleeding. Whether guidance of antiplatelet treatment based on platelet function testing proves useful for avoiding bleeding events warrants further investigation.