Clopidogrel is being increasingly administered as primary therapy for acute coronary syndromes and prior to planned percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). In these settings, surgical revascularization results in signifi- cantly increased postoperative bleeding, transfusion, and reexploration. Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB) may decrease the extent of postoperative bleeding in patients exposed to clopidogrel.
The cases of 78 consecutive patients undergoing OPCAB by a single surgeon were retrospectively analyzed, and the patients were divided into 2 groups, those with immediately preoperative clopidogrel exposure (clopidogrel OPCAB, n = 15) and those without (control OPCAB, n = 63). Multiple perioperative parameters were statistically compared. The clopidogrel OPCAB group also was compared with a group of previously described on-pump coronary bypass patients who made up a historical control group (n = 59).
Postoperative bleeding, transfusion requirements, reexploration rates, duration of mechanical ventilation, and length of stay were markedly less for clopidogrel OPCAB patients than for historical controls and were statistically equivalent to those of control OPCAB patients.
Among these 15 OPCAB patients with immediately preoperative administration of clopidogrel and aspirin, outcome was improved compared with published results for on-pump coronary bypass patients and was equivalent to results among OPCAB patients not exposed to clopidogrel. Published, recommended approaches to clopidogrel administration, such as avoidance of pre-PCI clopidogrel, delay of surgery, and platelet transfusion do not appear to be necessary with OPCAB.