BACKGROUND: Patients who have acute coronary syndromes with or without ST-segment elevation have high rates of major vascular events. We evaluated the efficacy of early clopidogrel administration (300 mg) (<24 hours) when given with aspirin in such patients.
METHODS: We included 30,243 patients who had an acute coronary syndrome with or without ST segment elevation. Data on early clopidogrel administration were available for 24,463 (81%). Some 15,525 (51%) of the total cohort were administrated clopidogrel within 24h of admission.
RESULTS: In-hospital death occurred in 2.9% of the patients in the early clopidogrel group treated with primary PCI and in 11.4% of the patients in the other group without primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and no early clopidogrel. The unadjusted clopidogrel odds ratio (OR) for mortality was 0.31 (95% confidence interval 0.27-0.34; p <0.001). Incidence of major adverse cardiac death (MACE) was 4.1% in the early clopidogrel group treated with 1°PCI and 13.5% in the other group without primary PCI and no early clopidogrel (OR 0.35, confidence interval 0.32-0.39, p <0.001). Early clopidogrel administration and PCI were the only treatment lowering mortality as shown by mutlivariate analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: The early administration of the anti-platelet agent clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndromes with or without ST-segment elevation has a beneficial effect on mortality and major adverse cardiac events. The lower mortality rate and incidence of MACE emerged with a combination of primary PCI and early clopidogrel administration.