Major bleeding significantly impacts outcomes in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). No uniform definitions exist for major and minor bleeding. Hematomas > or =5 cm at the femoral puncture site are considered major bleeding events in some trials and minor in others. Limited information is available on the incidence and clinical relevance of hematomas > or =5 cm in PCI patients.
Data from the STEEPLE trial in patients undergoing elective PCI were used to assess the impact of hematomas > or =5 cm on ischemic outcomes (mortality, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or urgent target vessel revascularization) up to day 30 and all-cause 1-year mortality. Hematoma data were available for 3,342 of 3,528 patients in STEEPLE. Patients with (n = 103) and without (n = 3,239) hematomas > or =5 cm were evenly distributed across treatment groups.
No differences were observed in 30-day ischemic outcomes between patients with and without hematomas (5.8% vs 5.9%, respectively; P = .96). No transfusions were observed in patients with hematomas as compared with patients without hematomas (0% and 0.4%, respectively; P = .52). A greater reduction in hemoglobin was observed (pre- vs post-PCI) in patients with hematomas as compared with patients without hematomas (-0.84 vs -0.35 g/L, P < or = .001). No significant difference in all-cause 1-year mortality was observed between patients with and without hematomas (0.0% vs 1.7%, P = .98).
After PCI, hematomas > or =5 cm had no effect on 30-day ischemic events or 1-year mortality. Although there is no agreed classification for large hematomas, the lack of a relationship between hematomas > or =5 cm and clinical outcome after PCI justifies the classification of these hematomas as minor bleeds in STEEPLE.