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Preload with clopidogrel, ticagrelor, or prasugrel in the setting of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) treated by primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is frequently applied. Limited data are available regarding the outcome impact of pretreatment with these drugs in the real world.The outcome of 760 STEMI patients treated by primary PCI receiving clopidogrel, prasugrel, or ticagrelor (n = 269, 327, 164, respectively) was evaluated. Patients in the clopidogrel group were older, whereas those in the ticagrelor group had less hypertension but were more active smokers. Angiographic characteristics were comparable among the three groups. At 1 month, more events were observed in the clopidogrel group (11.1%) than in the ticagrelor and prasugrel groups (7.1 vs. 5.1%, P = 0.025), whereas the number of events in the ticagrelor and prasugrel groups did not differ. At 1 year, similar differences existed, mainly driven by a higher rate of death (19.5%, P = 0.008) or stent thrombosis (2 vs. 1.3% for ticagrelor, P = 0.132; vs. 0.3% for prasugrel, P = 0.07) in the clopidogrel group. In-hospital and 1-year bleeding rates were similar between groups.In real-world practice, pretreatment with prasugrel or ticagrelor in ongoing STEMI treated by primary PCI seems to be a well tolerated alternative strategy compared with clopidogrel but provides superior benefit in terms of outcomes.