Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials of Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors in High-Risk Acute Coronary Syndromes Patients Undergoing Invasive Strategy

      It is still unknown whether upstream administration of glycoprotein (Gp) IIb/IIIa inhibitors, aiming at cooling the culprit lesion before angioplasty, is superior to its selective downstream administration in high-risk patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACSs) undergoing coronary angioplasty. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to perform a meta-analysis of randomized trials comparing upstream to downstream administration of Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors in high-risk patients with ACS undergoing early invasive strategy. We obtained results from all randomized trials on this issue. The literature was scanned by formal searches of electronic databases from January 1990 to March 2010. The following key words were used: “randomized trial,” “myocardial infarction,” “ACS,” “coronary angioplasty,” “upstream,” “downstream,” “Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors,” “abciximab,” “tirofiban,” and “eptifibatide.” Primary and secondary clinical end points were mortality and myocardial infarction at 30 days, respectively. Major bleeding complications were assessed as a safety end point. Seven randomized trials were included in the meta-analysis, involving 19,929 patients (9,981 or 50.0% in the upstream Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors group and 9,948 or 50% in the downstream Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors group). Upstream Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors did not decrease 30-day mortality (2.0% vs 2.0%, p = 0.84) or recurrence of myocardial infarction (7.0% vs 7.6%, p = 0.11) but were associated with higher risk of major bleeding complications (1.8% vs 1.3%, p = 0.0002). In conclusion, this meta-analysis shows that in high-risk patients with ACS undergoing an early invasive strategy, upstream administration of Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors does not improve clinical outcome compared to a downstream selective administration, and it is associated with an increased risk of major bleeding complications. Therefore, a strategy of upstream Gp IIb/IIIa inhibitors cannot be recommended.
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