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American Heart Association Late Breaking Clinical Trial Report: Tests Predict Which Patients Are Resistant to Anti-Clotting Therapy During Angioplasty, Stenting
Date:11/15/2009

Study highlights:

-- Three of six platelet reactivity tests predicted a risk of adverse outcomes related to blood clots in patients receiving two anti-clotting drugs following angioplasty (PCI) plus stenting.

-- Three other tests failed to predict excess risk.

-- It may soon be practical to test every PCI-plus-stent patient's response to anti-platelet therapy.

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three platelet function tests all identified heart patients who will have blood cells that remain sticky, increasing heart attack risk, despite being pre-treated with two anti-clotting medications before coronary stenting, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009.

POPULAR (Do platelet function assays predict clinical outcomes in clopidogrel pre-treated patients undergoing elective PCI) is the first head-to-head comparison of tests for platelet reactivity (meaning the blood's likelihood to clot) despite anti-clotting medication.

Specifically, it examines which of the many tests available best predicts clot-related (thrombotic) complications, such as heart attack and stroke, in patients pre-treated with aspirin and clopidogrel who then undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent implantation, said Jurrien M. ten Berg, M.D., Ph.D., an interventional cardiologist at St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands, and senior investigator of the study.

"Only a minority of centers routinely uses platelet reactivity testing to guide therapy, but it is used extensively as a research tool," he said. "I think we are on the brink of making platelet reactivity a clinical tool."

Dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel is used for its ability to reduce clot-related complications of PCI. But in some studies a significant number (30-40 percent) of patients
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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