Objectives This study sought to determine if there is an association between bleed location and clinical outcomes in acute coronary syndromes (ACS) patients. Background The prognostic significance of bleeding location among ACS patients undergoing cardiac catheterization is not well known. Methods We analyzed in-hospital bleeding events among 9,978 patients randomized in the SYNERGY (Superior Yield of the New Strategy of Enoxaparin, Revascularization, and Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors) study. Bleeding events were categorized by location as access site, systemic, surgical, or superficial, and severity was graded using the GUSTO (Global Use of Strategies to Open Occluded Coronary Arteries) definition. We assessed the association of each bleeding location and severity with 6-month risk of death or myocardial infarction using a multicovariate-adjusted Cox proportional hazard model. Results A total of 4,900 bleeding events were identified among 3,694 ACS patients with in-hospital bleeding. Among 4,679 GUSTO mild/moderate bleeding events, only surgical and systemic bleeds were associated with an increased risk of 6-month death or myocardial infarction (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]: 2.52 [95% confidence interval (CI): 2.16 to 2.94, and 1.40 [95% CI: 1.16 to 1.69], respectively). Mild/moderate superficial and access-site bleeds were not associated with downstream risk (adjusted HR: 1.17 [95% CI: 0.97 to 1.40], and 0.96 [95% CI: 0.82 to 1.12], respectively). Among 221 GUSTO severe bleeds, surgical bleeds were associated with the highest risk (HR: 5.27 [95% CI: 3.80 to 7.29]), followed by systemic (HR: 4.48 [95% CI: 2.98 to 6.72]), and finally access-site bleeds (HR: 3.57 [95% CI: 2.35 to 5.40]). Conclusions Among ACS patients who develop in-hospital bleeding, systemic and surgical bleeding are associated with the highest risks of adverse outcomes regardless of bleeding severity. Although the most frequent among bleeds, GUSTO mild/moderate access-site bleeding is not associated with increased risk. These data underscore the importance of strategies to minimize overall bleeding risk beyond vascular access site management. © 2013 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.
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