BACKGROUND: Prasugrel has proved its superiority over clopidogrel for reducing ischemic events among patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing urgent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Data on switching of antiplatelet therapy in acute coronary syndrome patients in clinical practice are very limited. Importantly, the safety of in-hospital switching from clopidogrel to prasugrel following thrombolysis has not been addressed.
METHODS: We reviewed consecutive STEMI patients from February 2011 to April 2014 who were transferred to a tertiary center after receiving thrombolysis and a loading dose of clopidogrel in a non-PCI-capable center. If not contraindicated, these patients were reloaded and treated with prasugrel. A control group, three times larger, was selected from patients who underwent primary PCI and were initially treated with prasugrel. In-hospital outcomes were examined.
RESULTS: Cases (n=45, 13% female, mean age 56 years) and controls (n=135, 11% female, mean age 54 years) did not differ significantly with respect to MI location, left ventricular systolic function, and extent of coronary artery disease. Mean time from thrombolysis to prasugrel loading was 32±19 hours. No significant differences were found between cases and controls in TIMI major or minor bleeding (0% vs. 3%), overall mortality (0% vs. 1.5%), and hospitalization length (4.8 vs. 5.5 days).
CONCLUSIONS: In-hospital reloading and subsequent maintenance therapy with prasugrel in patients who received thrombolysis and a loading dose of clopidogrel appears to be as safe as in STEMI patients managed by primary PCI; however, larger studies are needed to verify these results.
- ST-elevation myocardial infarction