Study raises heart attack concerns for anemia drugs
Patients who have had heart attacks might be at an increased risk of recurrences when treated with erythropoietin alfa, according tot a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the study, heart attack patients were randomly assigned to receive erythropoietin alfa or a placebo within four hours of reperfusion, a process of opening up blocked arteries.
Researchers measured the outcomes by infarct size, expressed as percentage of LV mass, assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging performed two to six days after study medication administration and again about 12 weeks later.
In the efficacy cohort, the infarct size did not differ between groups on either the first CMR scan or on the second CMR scan.
In a prespecified analysis of patients aged 70 years or older the mean infarct size within the first CMR was larger in the epoetin alfa group than in the placebo group.
Of the 125 patients who received epoetin alfa, the composite outcome of death, MI, stroke, or stent thrombosis occurred in five patients but in none of the 97 who received placebo.
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