Murphy, S. A., Gibson, C. M., Morrow, D. A., Van de Werf, F., Menown, I. B., Goodman, S. G., Mahaffey, K. W., Cohen, M., McCabe, C. H., Antman, E. M., Braunwald, E. Efficacy and safety of the low-molecular weight heparin enoxaparin compared with unfractionated heparin across the acute coronary syndrome spectrum: a meta-analysis Eur Heart J. 2007;28(17):2077-86.

AIMS: To determine whether the low-molecular weight heparin enoxaparin remains favourable when compared with unfractionated heparin (UFH) among patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) when incorporating efficacy and safety of these adjunctive therapies using a net clinical endpoint.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a meta-analysis of randomized trials of enoxaparin vs. UFH in ST-elevation-MI (STEMI) or non-ST-elevation-ACS (NSTEACS) (n = 49,088 patients in 12 trials). The net clinical endpoint was defined as death, MI, or major bleeding by 30 days. Death or myocardial infarction (MI) was significantly reduced with enoxaparin when compared with UFH (9.8 vs. 11.4%, OR 0.84, P < 0.001). The net clinical endpoint occurred less frequently with enoxaparin than UFH (12.5 vs. 13.5%, OR 0.90, P = 0.051). Major bleeding was higher with enoxaparin (4.3 vs. 3.4%, OR 1.25, P = 0.019). Among STEMI trials, the net clinical endpoint was significantly lower with enoxaparin (OR 0.84, P = 0.015), but there was no difference in NSTEACS trials (OR 0.97).

CONCLUSIONS: When compared with UFH, enoxaparin was associated with superior efficacy as adjunctive antithrombin therapy among >49 000 patients across the ACS spectrum. Although bleeding was increased with enoxaparin, this increase was offset by a reduction in death or MI. The net clinical benefit in favour of enoxaparin was evident among the STEMI population and was neutral among the NSTEACS population.