Percutaneous Coronary Intervention With an Initial Bolus of Low-Dose Heparin in Biomarker-Negative Patients

Michael S. Lee, Seung Woon Rha, Richard Shlofmitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The safety and efficacy of an initial intravenous bolus of low-dose heparin (40 IU/kg) was evaluated in biomarker negative patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Background: A bolus of 70–100 IU/kg of heparin is currently recommended for patients undergoing PCI. However, the ideal dose of heparin has not been evaluated in a randomized trial. The higher dose of 100 IU/kg may increase the risk of bleeding. An initial bolus of low-dose heparin may be advantageous to avoid supratherapeutic activating clotting times (ACT) while still allowing for the administration of additional heparin if the ACT is subtherapeutic. Methods: From January 2008 to February 2020, 904 patients undergoing elective transfemoral PCI received an initial bolus of 40 IU/kg of heparin. Patients who underwent transradial PCI were not included. Patients were routinely pretreated with dual antiplatelet therapy. The primary end point was the composite of cardiac death, myocardial infarction (MI), urgent target vessel revascularization (TVR) for ischemia, or major bleeding within 30 days after PCI. Results: The initial mean activating clotting time was 235.4 ± 26.6 s. The clinical event rates were low: the primary end point occurred in 5.3%, cardiac death in 1.0%, MI in 3.1%, urgent TVR in 0.7% and major bleeding in 1.9%. Stent thrombosis was uncommon (0.2%). No patients developed profound thrombocytopenia. Three patients (0.3%) had acute limb ischemia that required revascularization. Conclusion: An initial strategy of low-dose heparin is associated with low ischemic and bleeding complications in biomarker negative patients who undergo transfemoral PCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-41
Number of pages4
JournalCardiovascular Revascularization Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb


  • Anticoagulation
  • Heparin
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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