Background-Although many believe that platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors should be used only in acute coronary syndrome patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, supporting data from randomized clinical trials are tenuous. The assumption that these agents are useful only in conjunction with percutaneous coronary intervention is based primarily on inappropriate subgroup analyses performed across the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor trials. Methods and Results-We describe the problems with these analytical techniques and demonstrate that different approaches to the question can result in opposing answers. Conclusions-Clinical-practice decisions and practice guidelines should be based on overall trial results and not analyses of post-randomization subgroups.

, ,,
Circulation (Baltimore)
Department of Cardiology

Pieper, K., Tsiatis, A., Davidian, M., Hasselblad, V., Kleiman, N., Boersma, E., … Harrington, R. A. (2004). Differential Treatment Benefit of Platelet Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibition with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Versus Medical Therapy for Acute Coronary Syndromes: Exploration of Methods. Circulation (Baltimore), 109(5), 641–646. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000112570.97220.89