Objectives: This study was designed to assess the risk of significant bleeding complications in patients receiving antiplatelet or anticoagulation medications at the time of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) device implantation. Background: Periprocedural management of antiplatelet or anticoagulation therapy at the time of device implantation remains controversial. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of bleeding complications in all patients undergoing ICD or pacemaker implantation from August 2004 to August 2007. Aspirin or clopidogrel use was defined as taken within 5 days of the procedure. A significant bleeding complication was defined as need for pocket exploration or blood transfusion; hematoma requiring pressure dressing or change in anticoagulation therapy; or prolonged hospitalization. Results: Of the 1,388 device implantations, 71 had bleeding complications (5.1%). Compared with controls not taking antiplatelet agents (n = 255), the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel (n = 139) significantly increased bleeding risk (7.2% vs. 1.6%; p = 0.004). In patients taking aspirin alone (n = 536), bleeding risk was marginally higher than it was for patients taking no antiplatelet agents (3.9% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.078). The use of periprocedural heparin (n = 154) markedly increased risk of bleeding when compared with holding warfarin until the international normalized ratio (INR) was normal (n = 258; 14.3% vs. 4.3%; p < 0.001) and compared with patients receiving no anticoagulation therapy (14.3% vs.1.6%; p < 0.0001). There was no statistical difference in bleeding risk between patients continued on warfarin with an INR ≥1.5 (n = 46) and patients who had warfarin withheld until the INR was normal (n = 258; 6.5% vs. 4.3%; p = 0.50). Conclusions: Dual antiplatelet therapy and periprocedural heparin significantly increase the risk of bleeding complications at the time of pacemaker or ICD implantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine