A study of platelet inhibition, using a ‘point of care’ platelet function test, following primary percutaneous coronary intervention for ST elevation myocardial infarction (PINPOINT-PPCI)

Heart attacks are increasingly being treated with immediate re-opening and placement of a metal-mesh tube (stent) in the blocked heart artery. In addition to scaffolding the artery with a stent, drugs are used to thin the patient’s blood. We have recently changed the drugs given to patients presenting to the Bristol Heart Institute with heart attacks. The drugs we have selected are potent blood thinners and have been shown to act very fast.

In this study we measured the level of blood thinning achieved at the end of the stenting procedure. We thought that there may be a variable response to the blood thinning drugs and patients with a low response may be at increased risk of blood clotting problems. We described the relationship between the measure of blood thinning at the end of the procedure with the time given for the drug to take effect and ultimately with complications developed within the first 30 days following the stenting procedure.