Background: The roles of anticoagulation alone or with an antiplatelet agent after transcatheter aortic-valve implantation (TAVI) have not been well studied.
Methods: We performed a randomized trial of clopidogrel in patients undergoing TAVI who were receiving oral anticoagulation for appropriate indications. Patients were assigned before TAVI in a 1:1 ratio not to receive clopidogrel or to receive clopidogrel for 3 months. The two primary outcomes were all bleeding and non-procedure-related bleeding over a period of 12 months. Procedure-related bleeding was defined as Bleeding Academic Research Consortium type 4 severe bleeding, and therefore most bleeding at the puncture site was counted as non-procedure-related. The two secondary outcomes were a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, non-procedure-related bleeding, stroke, or myocardial infarction at 12 months (secondary composite 1) and a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction (secondary composite 2), both tested for noninferiority (noninferiority margin, 7.5 percentage points) and superiority.
Results: Bleeding occurred in 34 of the 157 patients (21.7%) receiving oral anticoagulation alone and in 54 of the 156 (34.6%) receiving oral anticoagulation plus clopidogrel (risk ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43 to 0.90; P = 0.01); most bleeding events were at the TAVI access site. Non-procedure-related bleeding occurred in 34 patients (21.7%) and in 53 (34.0%), respectively (risk ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.44 to 0.92; P = 0.02). Most bleeding occurred in the first month and was minor. A secondary composite 1 event occurred in 49 patients (31.2%) receiving oral anticoagulation alone and in 71 (45.5%) receiving oral anticoagulation plus clopidogrel (difference, -14.3 percentage points; 95% CI for noninferiority, -25.0 to -3.6; risk ratio, 0.69; 95% CI for superiority, 0.51 to 0.92). A secondary composite 2 event occurred in 21 patients (13.4%) and in 27 (17.3%), respectively (difference, -3.9 percentage points; 95% CI for noninferiority, -11.9 to 4.0; risk ratio, 0.77; 95% CI for superiority, 0.46 to 1.31).
Conclusions: In patients undergoing TAVI who were receiving oral anticoagulation, the incidence of serious bleeding over a period of 1 month or 1 year was lower with oral anticoagulation alone than with oral anticoagulation plus clopidogrel. (Funded by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development; POPular TAVI EU Clinical Trials Register number, 2013-003125-28; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02247128.).
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