Aspirin plus coumarin versus aspirin alone in the prevention of reocclusion after fibrinolysis for acute myocardial infarction: results of the Antithrombotics in the Prevention of Reocclusion In Coronary Thrombolysis (APRICOT)-2 Trial.
SourceCirculation, 106, 6, (2002), pp. 659-665
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectHeartfunction and circulation; Hartfunctie en circulatie
BACKGROUND: Despite the use of aspirin, reocclusion of the infarct-related artery occurs in approximately 30% of patients within the first year after successful fibrinolysis, with impaired clinical outcome. This study sought to assess the impact of a prolonged anticoagulation regimen as adjunctive to aspirin in the prevention of reocclusion and recurrent ischemic events after fibrinolysis for ST-elevation myocardial infarction. METHODS AND RESULTS: At coronary angiography <48 hours after fibrinolytic therapy, 308 patients receiving aspirin and intravenous heparin had a patent infarct-related artery (Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction [TIMI] grade 3 flow). They were randomly assigned to standard heparinization and continuation of aspirin alone or to a 3-month combination of aspirin with moderate-intensity coumarin, including continued heparinization until a target international normalized ratio (INR) of 2.0 to 3.0. Angiographic and clinical follow-up were assessed at 3 months. Median INR was 2.6 (25 to 75th percentiles 2.1 to 3.1). Reocclusion (< or =TIMI grade 2 flow) was observed in 15% of patients receiving aspirin and coumarin compared with 28% in those receiving aspirin alone (relative risk [RR], 0.55; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.90; P<0.02). TIMI grade 0 to 1 flow rates were 9% and 20%, respectively (RR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.89; P<0.02). Survival rates free from reinfarction and revascularization were 86% and 66%, respectively (P<0.01). Bleeding (TIMI major and minor) was infrequent: 5% versus 3% (P=NS). CONCLUSIONS: As adjunctive to aspirin, a 3-month-regimen of moderate-intensity coumarin, including heparinization until the target INR is reached, markedly reduces reocclusion and recurrent events after successful fibrinolysis. This conceptual study provides a mechanistic rationale to further investigate the role of prolonged anticoagulation after fibrinolytic therapy.
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