Prolonged anticoagulation therapy adjunctive to aspirin after successful fibrinolysis: from early reduction in reocclusion to improved long-term clinical outcome.
Am Heart J. 2009 Mar;157(3):532-40
Authors: van den Bergh PJ, Kievit PC, Brouwer MA, Aengevaeren WR, Veen G, Verheugt FW
BACKGROUND: Long-term addition of antithrombotics (clopidogrel, anticoagulants) to aspirin has improved outcome after acute coronary syndromes. Data on the impact after fibrinolysis are scarce. In Antithrombotics in the Prevention of Reocclusion In COronary Thrombolysis-2 (APRICOT-2), adjunctive moderate-intensity coumarin (median international normalized ratio 2.6) conferred a marked reduction in 3-month reocclusion and ischemic events. Given the association between reocclusion and long-term outcome, we performed long-term clinical follow-up. METHODS: Patients with thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) 3 flow <48 hours after fibrinolysis for ST-elevation myocardial infarction were randomized to aspirin plus coumarin, with prolonged heparinization until the target international normalized ratio (2-3) was reached, or aspirin with standard heparinization. Three-month follow-up angiography (reocclusion rates 15% vs 28%) and long-term clinical follow-up (median 7.3 years, interquartile range 5.9-8.6 years) were performed. RESULTS: Patients randomized to adjunctive anticoagulation (n = 123) received coumarin for a median of 280 days (113-387 days). Survival was 94% versus 88% in patients on aspirin alone (n = 128, P = .12). Infarct-free survival was 86% versus 71% (P = .01). Thrombolysis in myocardial infarction bleeding was 4% in both groups. Patients with reocclusion had impaired survival: 80% versus 94% (P < .01). In a multivariable model without reocclusion, combination therapy independently predicted survival (hazard ratio [HR] 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.13-1.00) and infarct-free survival (HR 0.51, 95% CI 0.28-0.95). When adjusted for reocclusion, combination therapy did not predict outcome. Reocclusion independently predicted death (HR 2.56, 95% CI 1.02-6.43) and reinfarction. CONCLUSIONS: Moderate-intensity oral anticoagulation added to aspirin improved 8-year clinical outcome after successful fibrinolysis. The beneficial effect was largely attributed to a reduction in reocclusion, which independently predicted death and reinfarction. This study provides a mechanistic rationale for prolonged adjunctive anticoagulation after fibrinolysis.
PMID: 19249425 [PubMed - in process]