Background: Risk stratification and the use of specific biomarkers have been proposed for tailoring treatment in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS). We investigated the prognostic importance of high-sensitivity troponin T (hs-TnT), N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) in relation to randomized treatment (ticagrelor versus clopidogrel) and management strategy (with or without revascularization) in the NSTE-ACS subgroup of the Platelet Inhibition and Patient Outcomes (PLATO) trial.
Methods and results: Of 18 624 patients in the PLATO trial, 9946 had an entry diagnosis of NSTE-ACS and baseline blood samples available. During index hospitalization, 5357 were revascularized, and 4589 were managed without revascularization. Hs-TnT, NT-proBNP, and GDF-15 were determined and assessed according to predefined cutoff levels. Median follow-up was 9.1 months. Increasing levels of hs-TnT were associated with increasing risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke in medically managed patients (P<0.001), but not in those managed invasively. NT-proBNP and GDF-15 levels were associated with the same events independent of management strategy. Ticagrelor versus clopidogrel reduced the rate of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke in patients with NSTE-ACS and hs-TnT ≥14.0 ng/L in both invasively and noninvasively managed patients; in patients with hs-TnT <14.0 ng/L, there was no difference between ticagrelor and clopidogrel in the noninvasive group
Conclusions: Hs-TnT, NT-proBNP, and GDF-15 are predictors of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke in patients with NSTE-ACS managed noninvasively, and NT-proBNP and GDF-15 also in those managed invasively. Elevated hs-TnT predicts substantial benefit of ticagrelor over clopidogrel both in invasively and noninvasively managed patients, but no apparent benefit was seen at normal hs-TnT.
Clinical trial registration: URL:http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00391872.
Keywords: acute coronary syndrome; biological markers; blood platelets; myocardial infarction; troponin.