Thrombin-specific anticoagulation with bivalirudin versus heparin in patients receiving fibrinolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction: The HERO-2 randomised trial

Harvey D. White, R. J. Simes, P. E.G. Aylward, P. W. Armstrong, R. M. Califf, J. K. French, C. B. Granger, I. C. Marschner, E. J. Topol, F. J. Van De Werf, R. G. Wilcox

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Background: The combination of fibrinolytic therapy and heparin for acute myocardial infarction fails to achieve reperfusion in 40-70% of patients, and early reocclusion occurs in a substantial number. We did a randomised, open-label trial to compare the thrombin-specific anticoagulant, bivalirudin, with heparin in patients undergoing fibrinolysis with streptokinase for acute myocardial infarction. Methods: 17 073 patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction were randomly assigned an intravenous bolus and 48-h infusion of either bivalirudin (n=8516) or heparin (n=8557), together with a standard 1.5 million unit dose of streptokinase given directly after the antithrombotic bolus. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality. Secondary endpoints included reinfarction within 96 h and bleeding. Strokes and reinfarctions were adjudicated by independent committees who were unaware of treatment allocation. Analysis was by intention to treat. Findings: By 30 days, 919 patients (10.8%) in the bivalirudin group and 931 (10.9%) in the heparin group had died (odds ratio 0.99 [95% CI 0.90-1.09], p=0.85). The mortality rates adjusted for baseline risk factors were 10.5% for bivalirudin and 10.9% for heparin (0.96 [0.86-1.07], p=0.46). There were significantly fewer reinfarctions within 96 h in the bivalirudin group than in the heparin group (0.70 [0.56-0.87], p=0.001). Severe bleeding occurred in 58 patients (0.7%) in the bivalirudin group versus 40 patients (0.5%) in the heparin group (p=0.07), and intracerebral bleeding occurred in 47 (0.6%) versus 32 (0.4%), respectively (p=0.09). The rates of moderate and mild bleeding were significantly higher in the bivalirudin group than the heparin group (1.32 [1.00-1.74], p=0.05; and 1.47 [1.34-1.62], p<0.0001; respectively). Transfusions were given to 118 patients (1.4%) in the bivalirudin group versus 95 patients (1.1%) in the heparin group (1.25 [0.95-1.64], p=0.11). Interpretation: Bivalirudin did not reduce mortality compared with unfractionated heparin, but did reduce the rate of adjudicated reinfarction within 96 h by 30%. Small absolute increases were seen in mild and moderate bleeding in patients given bivalirudin. Bivalirudin is a new anticoagulant treatment option in patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with streptokinase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1855-1863
Number of pages9
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number9296
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Dec 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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