This thesis focused on the acute management of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in an effort to provide information that may improve outcome. The aim was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bivalirudin versus unfractionated heparin (UFH) in STEMI patients during primary PCI. Furthermore, to provide pharmacodynamic data of novel ways of ticagrelor administration compared to standard tivcagrelor. Additionally, to identify subgroups of patients, such as women who may derive greater benefit from specific antithrombotic strategies due to their risk/benefit profile. Finally, to evaluate current formulas for estimation of renal function in the acute phase of STEMI.
In Paper I, all STEMI patients in Sweden between 2008 and 2014, treated with primary PCI and UFH or bivalirudin were included in our analysis. Of the total population of 23 800 patients, 8 783 (36.9%) were included in the UFH group and 15 017 (63.1%) in the bivalirudin group. Concomitant GPI administration was 68.5% in the UFH arm compared to 3.5% in the bivalirudin arm (p<0.01).The adjusted incidence of 30-day mortality was not significant different between the two groups (UFH vs bivalirudin, adjusted HR 0.94; 95% CI 0.82 -1.07). The adjusted risk for 1-year mortality, 30-day and 1-year stent thrombosis and re-infarction did not differ significantly between the two groups. In contrast, patients treated with UFH had a significantly higher incidence of major in-hospital bleeding (adjusted OR 1.62; 95%CI 1.30 -2.03).
In Paper II pharmacodynamic data of chewed or crushed ticagrelor compared to standard ticagrelor loading dose (LD) was assessed in 99 patients with stable angina. Platelet reactivity (PR) was assessed with VerifyNow before, 20 and 60 minutes after LD. High Residual platelet reactivity (HRPR) was defined as > 208 P2Y12 reaction units (PRU). Chewed ticagrelor tablets resulted in significantly lower PRU values compared to crushed or integral tablets at 20 and 60 minutes. Crushed ticagrelor LD resulted in significantly lower PRU values compared to integral tablets at 20 minutes whereas no difference was observed at 60 minutes. At 20 minutes, no patients had HRPR with chewed ticagrelor compared to 68% with integral and 30% with crushed ticagrelor LD (p<0.01).
In Paper III we presented a pre-specified gender analysis of the ATLANTIC trial including 1 862 STEMI patients that were randomly assigned to pre-hospital versus in-hospital administration of 180mg ticagrelor. Women were older and had higher TIMI risk score. Women had a 3-fold higher risk for all-cause mortality compared to men (5.7% vs 1.9%, HR 3.13, 95% CI 1.78 – 5.51). However, after adjustment for baseline characteristics, the difference was lesser and no longer significant (HR 1.98, 95% CI 0.97 – 4.04). Female gender was not an independent predictor of risk for bleeding after multivariable adjustments (BARC type 3-5 HR 1.52, 95% CI 0.74-3.09). There was no interaction between gender and efficacy or safety of randomised treatment.
In Paper IV, forty patients with PCI- treated STEMI were included between November 2011 and February 2013. We validated the performance of the Cockcroft-Gault (CG), the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD-IDMS), the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology (CKD-EPI) and the Grubb relative cystatin C (rGCystC) equations for estimation of GFR against measured GFR (mGFR) during the index hospitalisation for STEMI.
MDRD-IDMS and CKD-EPI demonstrated a good performance to estimate GFR with accuracy within 30% (P30) 82.5% vs 82.5%, respectively. CKD was best classified by CKD-EPI (Kappa 0.83). CG showed the worst performance with the lowest P30. The rG-CystC equation had a marked bias of -17.8% and significantly underestimated mGFR (p=0.03).
Conclusions – In STEMI patients treated with primary PCI, bivalirudin should be preferred in patient at high risk for bleeding. With crushed or chewed ticagrelor tablets a more rapid platelet inhibition may be achieved, compared with standard integral tablets. In STEMI patients, fast and potent platelet inhibition with chewed ticagrelor may reduce the risk of early stent thrombosis and patients treated with a less aggressive antithrombotic strategy, such as UFH or bivalirudin monotherapy, may derive a greater benefit. Although gender differences in adverse outcomes could mainly be explained by older age and clustering of comorbidities in women, a bleedreduction strategy in women with high risk characteristics is warranted in order to improve their outcome. Regardless the choice of antithrombotic strategy, dose adjustment of drugs cleared by kidneys based on GFR estimation is of crucial importance. MDRD and CKD-EPI should be the formulas used for estimation of GFR in STEMI patients