Three platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists have been evaluated in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). One of these agents, abciximab, is structurally and pharmacologically quite different from the other 2, eptifibatide and tirofiban. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether different antagonist types achieved different clinical outcomes, possibly related to their structural differences. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated and a random effects model was used to combine the outcomes of 14,644 patients enrolled in 8 prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing treatment with a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor to prevent ischemic complications of PCI. Neither abciximab (OR 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.4 to 1.9) nor eptifibatide or tirofiban treatment (OR 0.74; 95% CI 0.4 to 1.28) resulted in reductions in mortality. Only the abciximab-treated patients had reductions in myocardial infarction (4.3% vs 8.5%, OR 0.49; 95% CI 0.40 to 0.59). There was no effect of eptifibatide or tirofiban on myocardial infarction (OR 0.85; 95% CI 0.69 to 1.04). Urgent revascularization was reduced in both abciximab-treated (2.7% vs 6.2%, OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.53) and eptifibatide- and tirofiban-treated (4.2% vs 5.5%, OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.60 to 0.96) groups. Only abciximab-treated patients had increased major bleeding (5.8% vs 3.8%; OR 1.53; 95% CI 1.24 to 1.90). There was no effect of eptifibatide or tirofiban on major bleeding (5.0% vs 4.3%; OR 1.19; 95% CI 0.94 to 1.52). Thus, significant differences exist between clinical outcomes achieved by abciximab and those achieved by eptifibatide or tirofiban following PCI procedures.