Comparison of safety and efficacy of bivalirudin versus unfractionated heparin in percutaneous peripheral intervention: a single-center experience


Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Sinai/St. Luke’s Medical Center


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of bivalirudin versus low-dose unfractionated heparin (UFH) in percutaneous peripheral intervention (PPI).

BACKGROUND: Anticoagulation strategies used in PPI are based primarily on studies of percutaneous coronary intervention where higher doses of heparin are used usually in combination with a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor. There are no studies comparing bivalirudin alone versus low-dose heparin in PPI.

METHODS: Consecutive patients who underwent PPI at our institution were treated with either bivalirudin or low-dose UFH. Patients were assessed prospectively during index hospital stay for procedural success and bleeding complications. Of 236 patients, 111 were dosed with UFH at 50 U/kg (goal activated clotting time of 180 to 240 s), and 125 were dosed with bivalirudin at 0.75-mg/kg/h bolus followed by a 1.75-mg/kg infusion. Procedural success was defined asor=5 g/dl. Anticoagulation cost analysis was conducted.

RESULTS: Procedural success and major bleeding rates were similar with bivalirudin versus heparin (98% vs. 99% and 2.4% vs. 0.9%, respectively). There were no differences in minor bleeding, time to ambulation, and length of hospital stay. The hospital cost for bivalirudin was $547 and

CONCLUSIONS: Low-dose UFH is as effective and safe as bivalirudin when used as an anticoagulation strategy in patients undergoing PPI, and low-dose UFH is less costly than bivalirudin. Larger randomized studies are required to further evaluate these findings.

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