Safety of intra-aortic balloon pump using glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonists

Avishag Laish-Farkash*, Hanoch Hod, Shlomo Matetzky, Victor Guetta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anticoagulation with heparin is recommended with intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) to prevent thrombosis and embolization. However, anticoagulation increases the risk of bleeding, particularly in combination with glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa antagonists. Hypothesis: We investigated the safety of using GP IIb/IIIa antagonists without heparin after IABP insertion in patients who underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Methods: Consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), who underwent primary PCI and were treated with GP IIb/IIIa antagonists without concomitant heparin, and in whom IABP was inserted, were followed during hospitalization for thrombotic and hemorrhagic complications. Results: Ninety-seven patients were included in this analysis. Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonist treatment duration was 12-24 h in 89% of patients, and IABP duration was up to 48 h in 97% of patients. Three patients (3.1%) developed vascular complications: 1 had a major limb ischemia (long IABP treatment), 1 had a minor limb ischemia, and 1 had a cerebrovascular event (after prolonged resuscitation). All patients were already on heparin at the time of the thrombotic events. The rates of major and minor bleeding complications were 9% and 15.5%, respectively. Conclusions: The rate of thrombotic complications is relatively low in post-primary PCI patients with IABP treated with GP IIb/IIIa antagonists without concomitant heparin therapy. Such an approach may reduce the risk of hemorrhagic complications, with low risk of thrombotic complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Complications
  • Glycoprotein iib/iiia antagonists
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump
  • Myocardial infarction


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