Addition of heparin to contrast media is associated with increased bleeding and peripheral vascular complications during percutaneous coronary intervention with bivalirudin and drug-eluting stents

Seung-Woon Rha, Pramod K. Kuchulakanti, Rajbabu Pakala, Edouard Cheneau, Ellen Pinnow, Afework GebreEyesus, George Aggrey, Augusto D. Pichard, Lowell F. Satler, Kenneth M. Kent, Joseph Lindsay, Ron Waksman

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Nonionic radiographic contrast media (CM) is reported to be thrombogenic while performing diagnostic or interventional procedures. To avoid thrombosis, heparin is often added to the CM. Bivalirudin, used to replace heparin during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), is reported to be associated with reduced bleeding complications. We aimed to evaluate the impact of adding heparin to the CM during PCI in patients (pts) who underwent sirolimus-eluting stent (SES) implantation when bivalirudin was utilized as the sole antithrombotic agent. A total of 664 pts with 756 lesions underwent standard PCI with SES for various coronary artery lesions. Pts were treated with either bivalirudin only (the bivalirudin group; 0.75 mg/kg bolus and 1.75 mg/kg/h infusion, n=323 pts) or bivalirudin (same dose) plus low-dose heparin added to the CM (the heparin mix group; mean dose=2101.8±882.5 U, n=341 pts) during PCI. The periprocedural, in-hospital, and 30-day clinical outcomes were compared. Baseline clinical and angiographic parameters were similar between both groups. Periprocedural, in-hospital, and 1-month clinical outcomes, including thrombotic complications, were similar between the two groups. There was no difference in the periprocedural thrombosis rate between the groups. In the heparin mix group, the overall incidence of hematoma was significantly higher (3.8% vs. 8.5%, P=.01), there was a trend toward higher rates of blood transfusion (2.6% vs. 6.6%, P=.06) and overall vascular complications (0.01% vs. 5.3%, P<.001), including pseudoaneurysm (PSA; 0.0% vs. 2.6%, P=.004), and pts who required surgical repair (0.3% vs. 1.8%, P=.07). The routine addition of low-dose heparin to CM during contemporary PCI does not add any protection value and is associated with higher rates of bleeding and vascular complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalCardiovascular Radiation Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Bivalirudin
  • Contrast media
  • Heparin
  • Sirolimus-eluting stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery

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