Aims: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) guidelines have been changed, favouring more potent antiplatelet drugs. We aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a ticagrelor- instead of a clopidogrel-based primary dual antiplatelet (DAPT) regimen in ACS patients treated with newer-generation drug-eluting stents (DES).
Methods and results: CHANGE DAPT (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03197298) assessed 2,062 consecutive real-world ACS patients, treated by percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), the primary composite endpoint being net adverse clinical and cerebral events (NACCE: all-cause death, any myocardial infarction, stroke or major bleeding). In the clopidogrel (CP; December 2012-April 2014) and ticagrelor periods (TP; May 2014-August 2015), 1,009 and 1,053 patients were treated, respectively. TP patients were somewhat older, underwent fewer transfemoral procedures, and received fewer glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors. In the TP, the one-year NACCE rate was higher (5.1% vs. 7.8%; HR 1.53 [95% CI: 1.08-2.17]; p=0.02). Assessment of non-inferiority (pre-specified margin: 2.7%) was inconclusive (risk difference: 2.64 [95% CI: 0.52-4.77]; pnon-inferiority=0.48). TP patients had more major bleeding (1.2% vs. 2.7%; p=0.02) while there was no benefit in ischaemic endpoints. Propensity score-adjusted multivariate analysis confirmed higher NACCE (adj. HR 1.75 [95% CI: 1.20-2.55]; p=0.003) and major bleeding risks during TP (adj. HR 2.75 [95% CI: 1.34-5.61]; p=0.01).
Conclusions: In this observational study, the guideline-recommended ticagrelor-based primary DAPT regimen was associated with an increased event risk in consecutive ACS patients treated with newer-generation DES.