Anticoagulation for percutaneous coronary intervention: A contemporary review

Abdulla A. Damluji, Lynda Otalvaro, Mauricio G. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Optimal anticoagulation is needed to prevent ischemic complications during percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs). The efficacy and safety of new anticoagulants to support PCI in different clinical scenarios have been evaluated in large clinical trials. This review summarizes the major issues and current practices for anticoagulation during PCI. Recent findings It is known that thrombotic events during PCI correlate with poor prognosis. However, the prognostic impact of bleeding is similar or even worse compared with ischemic complications. Therefore, the use of more predictable anticoagulants and safe practices in the catheterization laboratory to balance ischemia and bleeding is an important goal. Mindful of this notion, new anticoagulants with a safer profile, such as bivalirudin, have become popular to avoid bleeding. However, this paradigm shift has resulted in increased rates of acute stent thrombosis after primary PCI. Summary Individual factors associated with increased bleeding risk should be considered in the choice of anticoagulants during PCI. It is now known that the higher bleeding risk observed with heparin-based regimens can be attributed to excessive doses or concomitant use of glycoprotein IIbIIIa inhibitors. In addition to the right anticoagulant choice, operators can avoid bleeding by implementing transradial access and ultrasound-guided and fluoroscopic-guided vascular access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 24 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulant
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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