Thrombosis and haemostasis

Impact of bridging with perioperative low-molecular-weight heparin on cardiac and bleeding outcomes of stented patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.

PMID 26017898


When patients with coronary stents undergo non-cardiac surgery, bridging therapy with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is not infrequent in clinical practice. However, the efficacy and safety of this approach is poorly understood. This was a retrospective analysis of patients with coronary stent(s) on any antiplatelet therapy undergoing non-cardiac surgery between March 2003 and February 2012. The primary efficacy endpoint was the 30-day incidence of major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events (MACCE), defined as the composite of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome leading to hospitalisation, or stroke. The primary safety endpoint was the 30-day composite of Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) bleedings ≥ 2. Among 515 patients qualifying for the analysis, LMWH bridging was used in 251 (49 %). At 30 days, MACCE occurred more frequently in patients who received LMWH (7.2 % vs 1.1 %, p=0.001), driven by a higher rate of myocardial infarction (4.8 % vs 0 %, p< 0.001). This finding was consistent across several instances of statistical adjustment and after the propensity matching of 179 pairs. Patients bridged with LMWH also experienced a significantly higher risk of BARC bleedings ≥ 2 (21.9 % vs 11.7 %, p=0.002) compared to those who were not, which remained significant across different methods of statistical adjustment and propensity matching. In conclusion, LMWH bridging in patients with coronary stents undergoing surgery is a common and possibly harmful practice, resulting in worse ischaemic outcomes at 30 days, and a significant risk of bleeding.