OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine whether pre-existing angiographic thrombus was associated with adverse in-hospital and six-month outcomes after percutaneous coronary interventions. BACKGROUND: There are conflicting data about whether pre-existing thrombus is an independent predictor of adverse in-hospital and short-term outcome after coronary interventions. METHODS: The Angiographic Trials Pool, a data set derived from eight prospective randomized trials, was analyzed. The study population consisted of 7,917 patients who underwent coronary interventions between 1986 and 1995. Two trials were excluded because they did not collect information regarding thrombus. Patients from the other six trials were divided on the basis of the presence or absence of thrombus. RESULTS: In patients with (n = 2,752) and without (5,165) thrombus, in-hospital mortality following angioplasty was low (0.8 vs. 0.6%, p = 0.207). Several adverse outcomes were higher in patients with thrombus: death/myocardial infarction (8.4 vs. 5.5%, p ≤ 0.001), in-hospital abrupt closure (5.9 vs. 3.9%, p ≤ 0.001) and an in-hospital composite of death, myocardial infarction and/or repeat revascularization (15.4 vs. 11.2%, p ≤ 0.001). Six-month mortality was low and comparable between the two groups (2.1 vs. 1.8%, p = 0.34), but the incidence of six-month death/myocardial infarction was higher in patients with thrombus (11.7 vs. 8.7%, p ≤ 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Percutaneous coronary angioplasty can be performed with low mortality in patients with pre-existing thrombus, although these patients are at higher risk of in-hospital and six-month death/myocardial infarction. Continued efforts are required to optimize the outcome in these high risk patients. © 2001 by the American College of Cardiology.