Low Molecular Weight Heparin in Prevention of Restenosis After Angioplasty: Results of Enoxaparin Restenosis (ERA) Trial

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BackgroundHeparin, an anticoagulant, possesses antiproliferative effects and has been shown to reduce neointimal proliferation and restenosis following vascular injury in experimental studies.Methods and ResultsThe primary aim of this double-blind multicenter study was to determine if 40 mg Enoxaparin, a low molecular weight heparin, administered subcutaneously once daily for 1 month after successful angioplasty would reduce the incidence of restenosis. Four hundred fifty-eight patients were randomized at nine clinical centers (231 to placebo and 227 to Enoxaparin). The primary end point was angiographic or clinical restenosis. Angiographic restenosis was defined as a loss of 50% of the initial gain as measured by quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) at a core laboratory. In the absence of QCA, clinical evidence of restenosis was defined as death, myocardial infarction, repeat revascularization, or worsening angina. Using the intention-to-treat analysis for all patients, restenosis occurred in 51% of the placebo group and 52% of the Enoxaparin group (relative risk, 1.07, P=.625). Likewise, no difference in restenosis was evident when the change in minimal lumen diameter or other angiographic definitions of restenosis were used. Adverse clinical events were infrequent and did not differ between the groups with the exception of minor bleeding complications, which were more common in the Enoxaparin group.ConclusionsEnoxaparin (40 mg/d SC for 1 month) following successful angioplasty did not reduce the incidence of angiographic restenosis or the occurrence of clinical events over 6 months. The treatment was well tolerated, although in-hospital minor bleeding was more common with active treatment.

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