Objectives: The aim of the present study was to compare clopidogrel and ticlopidine after coronary stenting with regard to cardiovascular death during long-term follow-up.
Background: Randomized trials comparing clopidogrel and ticlopidine with a restricted use of intravenous glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibition have reported a trend toward a higher incidence of thrombotic stent occlusion with clopidogrel at 30 days.
Methods: After successful coronary stent implantation, 700 patients with 899 lesions were randomly assigned to receive a four-week course of either 500 mg ticlopidine (n = 345) or 75 mg clopidogrel (n = 355) in addition to 100 mg aspirin. Cardiovascular death was the primary end point and was recorded during a median follow-up period of 28 months.
Results: Cardiovascular death occurred in eight patients with ticlopidine versus 26 patients with clopidogrel (hazard ratio with ticlopidine compared with clopidogrel, 0.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.14 to 0.66; p = 0.003). After adjustment for co-variables, ticlopidine reduced the risk of cardiovascular death by 63% compared with clopidogrel. The combined end point of cardiovascular death or nonfatal myocardial infarction was present in 19 patients assigned ticlopidine, compared with 40 patients assigned clopidogrel (hazard ratio, 0.45; p = 0.005). The hazard ratio for all-cause mortality with ticlopidine as compared with clopidogrel was 0.30 (95% CI, 0.14 to 0.64; p = 0.002).
Conclusions: After the placement of coronary artery stents in unselected patients, ticlopidine was associated with a significantly lower mortality than clopidogrel. This raises concern about the current practice of substituting clopidogrel for ticlopidine after stenting and highlights the need for further long-term studies.