Patients with a recently diagnosed ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and implanted coronary drug-eluting stent (DES) who need urgent surgery are at increased risk of surgical bleeding unless aspirin and clopidogrel are discontinued beforehand. However, discontinuation of aspirin and clopidogrel is associated with a high rate of recurrent myocardial infarction, heart failure, and malignant arrhythmias because of stent thrombosis. The main point of debate is how to treat these patients. We hypothesized that perioperative intravenous administration of tirofiban, a GPIIb/IIIa inhibitor, would allow the safe withdrawal of aspirin and clopidogrel without increasing the risk of surgical bleeding.Methods
Twenty-one patients implanted with a coronary DES after STEMI who underwent urgent surgery were selected for this clinical trial. Tirofiban was used to replace aspirin and clopidogrel (dual antiplatelet drugs) before and after urgent surgery. Major adverse cardiovascular and bleeding events were observed during hospitalization and within 3 months of discharge.Results
Twenty-one patients with recently diagnosed STEMI and implanted DES [median (range) 6 (3–8) months] and high-risk characteristics for stent thrombosis underwent urgent major surgery. Tirofiban was used to replace aspirin and clopidogrel 5 days before surgery, stopped 4 h before surgery, and resumed until oral aspirin and clopidogrel was resumed after surgery. There were no deaths, myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis, or surgical re-exploration because of bleeding during hospitalization and within 3 months of discharge. There was one case of acute left ventricular failure during hospitalization.Conclusion
In patients who need urgent surgery after recently diagnosed STEMI and implanted DES, a strategy using tirofiban may allow temporary withdrawal of dual antiplatelet drugs without increasing the risk of bleeding. This conclusion needs to be further confirmed by large-scale randomized clinical trials.