A randomized, parallel group, double-blind study of ticagrelor compared with aspirin for prevention of vascular events in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft operation: Rationale and design of the Ticagrelor in CABG (TiCAB) trial: An Investigator-Initiated trial

Am Heart J. 2016 Sep;179:69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2016.05.017. Epub 2016 Jun 18.


Background: For patients with coronary artery disease undergoing coronary bypass surgery, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) currently represents the gold standard of antiplatelet treatment. However, adverse cardiovascular event rates in the first year after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) still exceed 10%. Graft failure, which is predominantly mediated by platelet aggregation, has been identified as a major contributing factor in this context. Therefore, intensified platelet inhibition is likely to be beneficial. Ticagrelor, an oral, reversibly binding and direct-acting P2Y12 receptor antagonist, provides a rapid, competent, and consistent platelet inhibition and has shown beneficial results compared with clopidogrel in the subset of patients undergoing bypass surgery in a large previous trial.

Hypothesis: Ticagrelor is superior to ASA for the prevention of major cardiovascular events within 1 year after CABG.

Study design: The TiCAB trial (NCT01755520) is a multicenter, phase III, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized trial comparing ticagrelor with ASA for the prevention of major cardiovascular events within 12 months after CABG. Patients undergoing CABG will be randomized in a 1:1 fashion to either ticagrelor 90 mg twice daily or ASA 100 mg once daily. The study medication will be started within 24 hours after surgery and maintained for 12 months. The primary end point is the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and repeat revascularization at 12 months after CABG. The sample size is based on an expected event rate of 13% of the primary end point within the first 12 months after randomization in the control group, a 2-sided α level of .0492 (to preserve the overall significance level of .05 after planned interim analysis), a power of 0.80%, 2-sided testing, and an expected relative risk of 0.775 in the active group compared with the control group and a dropout rate of 2%. According to power calculations based on a superiority design for ticagrelor, it is estimated that 3,850 patients should be enrolled.

Summary: There is clinical equipoise on the issue of optimal platelet inhibition after CABG. The TiCAB trial will provide a pivotal comparison of the efficacy and safety of ticagrelor compared with ASA after CABG.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Revascularization / statistics & numerical data
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Ticagrelor
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists
  • Ticagrelor
  • Adenosine
  • Aspirin