Early administration of clopidogrel is safe after off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery.Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Mar; 81(3):815-9.AT
Patients who undergo off-pump coronary artery bypass graft surgery (OPCAB) may be hypercoagulable with an increased risk of graft thrombosis due to the lack of platelet dysfunction that accompanies "on-pump" surgery. Clopidogrel may be indicated in these patients to prevent recurrent ischemic events. The purpose of this observational study was to determine the safety of early clopidogrel administration after OPCAB.
Thirty-day follow-up of 364 consecutive OPCAB patients (January to June, 2002) was determined from a computerized database. One hundred ninety-three patients received clopidogrel 4 hours postoperatively if chest tube output was less than 100 cc/h for 4 hours, then daily for 4 weeks. Aspirin was administered preoperatively and postoperatively to all patients. Telephone follow-up was made 6 to 12 months after OPCAB.
None of the patients who received clopidogrel in the early postoperative period required reoperation for mediastinal hemorrhage. Mean chest tube drainage at 24 hours was 1,024 +/- 563 mL in patients who received clopidogrel and 942 +/- 501 mL in patients who did not receive clopidogrel. The total number of blood units transfused and the number of patients receiving blood transfusions were similar between groups. In-hospital mortality was 1.6% in patients who received clopidogrel and 3.5% in patients who did not receive clopidogrel. No group differences in mortality or adverse cardiac events were observed at 6 months. Gastrointestinal bleeding occurred in 2.2% clopidogrel patients versus 0.7% of patients who did not receive clopidogrel.
When administered according to our postoperative protocol, OPCAB patients can safely receive clopidogrel in the early postoperative period without increased risk for mediastinal hemorrhage.