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Platelet IIb/IIIa antagonists followed by delayed stent implantation. A new treatment for vein graft lesions containing massive thrombus


The percutaneous treatment of saphenous vein graft lesions containing angiographically massive thrombus is associated with a high risk of distal embolisation and no-reflow. The optimal management for these lesions remains unclear and a challenge to the interventional cardiologist. Five cases are described in whom the risks of percutaneous angioplasty were felt to be excessive owing to a high thrombus load. Each case was treated with a bolus and infusion of abciximab (ReoPro; Eli Lilly—a platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonist) at least 24 hours before further angiography. Repeat angiography of the culprit vein graft, following treatment with abciximab alone, demonstrated a major reduction in the thrombus score and the presence of TIMI 3 flow in each case. Immediately following repeat angiography, angioplasty with stent insertion was performed successfully with no distal embolisation or no-reflow phenomenon. This staged approach, with abciximab used alone to reduce thrombus load, is a new treatment for vein graft lesions containing massive thrombus.

  • thrombus
  • abciximab
  • glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists
  • interventional cardiology
  • angioplasty

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