BackgroundThe aim of this study was to assess the impact of bivalirudin, as compared to unfractionated heparin, on clinical outcomes in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). MethodsA meta-analysis of randomized trials comparing bivalirudin versus heparin in patients with STEMI undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention was performed. Three randomised trials enrolling 7,612 patients were included. Analysis was by intention to treat. ResultsAt 30 days, bivalirudin, as compared to heparin, was associated with a similar risk of all-cause mortality (3.03% vs. 3.38%, odds ratio (OR) 0.90, 95% confidence intervals (CI) [0.63 to 1.29], P=0.57). Bivalirudin significantly increased the risk of definite (2.39% vs. 1.06%, OR 2.49, 95% CI [1.30 to 4.76], P=0.006); definite or probable (2.55% vs. 1.35%, OR 2.26, 95% CI [1.07 to 4.79], P=0.03), and acute stent thrombosis (1.69% vs. 0.39%, OR 4.34, 95% CI [2.30 to 8.16], P<0.001); leading to nonsignificantly higher reinfarction rates (2.0% vs. 1.31%, OR 1.72, 95% CI [0.89 to 3.35], P=0.11), and to a significantly increased risk of ischemia driven revascularization (2.50% vs. 1.52%, OR 1.80, 95% CI [1.02 to 3.18], P=0.04) at 30 days. No firm evidence for a reduction in major bleeding associated with bivalirudin use was found (3.93% vs. 6.39%, OR 0.63, 95% CI [0.39 to 1.04], P=0.07). ConclusionsIn patients with STEMI, bivalirudin, as compared to heparin, increases the risk of stent thrombosis and ischemia driven repeat revascularization at 30 days. There is no strong evidence that bivalirudin significantly reduces major bleeding at 30 days. Bivalirudin does not have an effect on all-cause mortality at 30 days. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.