Although current guidelines strongly recommend that dual antiplatelet therapy be administered early in treating patients with non-ST-segment-elevation acute myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), it is unclear whether pretreatment is beneficial,especially with the newer, more potent and more rapidly acting antiplatelet agents prasugrel (Effient, Lilly) and ticagrelor (Brilinta, AstraZeneca). Now a large new study, ACCOAST, presented at the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam and published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers strong evidence that pretreatment with prasugrel should not be performed in this situation.
Near the end of the enrollment period, the trial was stopped prematurely on the advice of the independent data and safety monitoring committee because of an increase in major and life-threatening bleeding, but no reduction in cardiovascular events, among patients in the pretreatment group.
A total of 4033 patients scheduled for coronary angiography were randomized to receive pretreatment with prasugrel or no prasugrel. There were no significant differences in the primary endpoint, (death from CV causes, MI, stroke, urgent revascularization, or glycoprotein IIb/IIIa bailout at 7 days). However, TIMI major bleeding was significantly more common in the pretreatment group at 7 days. Similar findings were observed at 30 days.