Perioperative Bridging With Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors Versus Cangrelor: Balancing Efficacy and Safety

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Annals of Pharmacotherapy


Objective: To review the efficacy and safety of perioperative administration of intravenous (IV) antiplatelet agents as a substitute for oral P2Y12 inhibitors and to provide clinicians guidance on optimal and cost-effective use of these medications. Data Sources: A MEDLINE literature search (1950 to November 2018) was performed using the key search terms abciximab, bridging, cangrelor, cardiac surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, eptifibatide, intravenous antiplatelet agent, and tirofiban. Additional references were identified from a review of literature citations. Study Selection and Data Extraction: In all, 18 original research reports and case reports/series were included in the review. Data Synthesis: Prevention of postoperative bleeding is critical to decrease morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery. IV antiplatelet medications have short half-lives and are frequently used to substitute for oral P2Y12 inhibitors to allow platelet function recovery before procedures. Functional recovery of platelets is delayed after abciximab discontinuation and increases postoperative bleeding risk. Eptifibatide and tirofiban have similar pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties and comparable efficacy and safety in the setting of perioperative bridging. Cangrelor may be considered in patients with renal insufficiency as decreased clearance of eptifibatide or tirofiban may increase the risk of postoperative bleeding. Relevance to Patient Care and Clinical Practice: Comparative studies of IV antiplatelet medications have not been published. Appropriate use of IV antiplatelet medications can prevent perioperative ischemic events and bleeding. Conclusions: Eptifibatide, tirofiban, and cangrelor are preferred over abciximab as a perioperative bridge. The choice of agent should be tailored to clinical characteristics of the patient and institutional acquisition costs.

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