The Particulars: Aspirin use prior to angioplasty is a Class I recommendation of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. Compliance with this recommendation is not well known.

Data Breakdown: In a study of more than 65,000 patients who underwent angioplasty and PCI over a 2-year period, researchers found that 7.1% did not receive aspirin within 24 hours prior to PCI. Of this group, nearly 90.0% had no documented barriers to aspirin. The in-hospital mortality rate was 3.9% for the non-aspirin group, compared with a 1.2% rate for the aspirin group.

Take Home Pearls: Many patients do not appear to be receiving aspirin prior to angioplasty and PCI even though they do not have contraindications for aspirin. Considerably higher in-hospital mortality rates were observed in non-aspirin users when compared with those receiving aspirin.