Author + information
- Received October 7, 1993
- Revision received May 18, 1994
- Accepted June 2, 1994
- Published online November 1, 1994.
- Harold Z. Friedman, MD, FACC∗,
- David R. Cragg, MD,
- Susan M. Glazier, RN,
- Vellappillil Gangadharan, MD, FACC,
- Dominic L. Marsalese, MD, FACC,
- Theodore L. Schreiber, MD, FACC and
- William W. O'neill, MD, FACC
- ↵∗Address for correspondence: Dr. Harold Z. Friedman, Division of Cardiology, William Beaumont Hospital, 3601 West Thirteen Mile Road, Royal Oak, Michigan 48073.
Objectives. This study was designed to prospectively evaluate the routine use of continuous heparin therapy after successful uncomplicated coronary angioplasty.
Background. The use of such therapy varies among institutions and may increase the incidence of complications. Evaluation of the risks and benefits of abbreviated heparin therapy combined with early sheath removal after coronary angioplasty is necessary to determine optimal postprocedure care.
Methods. We prospectively studied 284 patients who were scheduled for elective coronary angioplasty. Historical, clinical, physiologic and angiographic data were gathered. All patients received an initial bolus of heparin and then were randomized during the procedure to receive either no additional heparin therapy or an adjusted 24-h infusion. On the basis of specific criteria, additional heparin was not withheld if procedural results suggested an increased risk for complications.
Results. Two hundred thirty-eight patients completed the study; 46 others were excluded in the catheterization laboratory because of unfavorable procedural results. The patients with abbreviated (n = 118) and 24-h (n = 120) therapy did not differ with respect to demographic and angiographic findings. However, the former had fewer bleeding complications (0% vs. 7%, p < 0.001) and were discharged earlier (mean ± SD 23 ± 11 h vs. 42 ± 24 h, p < 0.001). One patient in this group had a major complication shortly after angioplasty. The mean savings in hospital charges in the abbreviated therapy group was $1,370 ($6,093 ± $1,772 vs. $7,463 +- $1,782, p < 0.081).
Conclusions. Omission of routine heparin therapy after successful coronary angioplasty reduces bleeding complications without increasing patient risk. Earlier discharge and significant cost savings are possible under proper conditions.
- Received October 7, 1993.
- Revision received May 18, 1994.
- Accepted June 2, 1994.