Lindholm D, Varenhorst C, Cannon CP, Harrington RA, Himmelmann A, Maya J, Husted S, Steg PG, Cornel JH, Storey RF, Stevens SR, Wallentin L, James SK. Ticagrelor vs. clopidogrel in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome with or without revascularization: results from the PLATO trial. Eur Heart J. 2014;35:2083-93.

AIMS: The optimal platelet inhibition strategy for ACS patients managed without revascularization is unknown.We aimed to evaluate efficacy and safety of ticagrelor vs. clopidogrel in the non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) subgroup of the PLATO trial, in the total cohort, and in the subgroups managed with and without revascularization within 10 days of randomization.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a retrospective analysis of the primary endpoint of cardiovascular death/myocardial infarction/stroke. Among 18 624 PLATO patients, 11 080 (59%) were categorized as NSTE-ACS at randomization. During the initial 10 days, 74% had angiography, 46% PCI, and 5% CABG. In NSTE-ACS patients, the primary endpoint was reduced with ticagrelor vs. clopidogrel [10.0 vs. 12.3%; hazard ratio (HR) 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.74-0.93], as was myocardial infarction (6.6 vs. 7.7%; HR 0.86; 95% CI = 0.74-0.99), cardiovascular death (3.7 vs. 4.9%; HR 0.77; 95% CI = 0.64-0.93), and all-cause death (4.3 vs. 5.8%; HR 0.76; 95% CI = 0.64-0.90). Major bleeding rate was similar between treatment groups (13.4 vs. 12.6%; HR 1.07; 95% CI = 0.95-1.19), but ticagrelor was associated with an increase in non-CABG major bleeding (4.8 vs. 3.8%; HR 1.28; 95% CI = 1.05-1.56). Within the first 10 days, 5366 (48.4%) patients were managed without revascularization. Regardless of revascularization or not, ticagrelor consistently reduced the primary outcome (HR 0.86 vs. 0.85, interaction P = 0.93), and all-cause death (HR 0.75 vs. 0.73, interaction P = 0.89) with no significant increase in overall major bleeding.

CONCLUSION: In patients with NSTE-ACS, benefit of ticagrelor over clopidogrel in reducing ischaemic events and total mortality was consistent with the overall PLATO trial, independent of actually performed revascularization during the initial 10 days.

Trial: PLATO