Icosapent Ethyl Reduces Ischemic Events in Patients With a History of Previous Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting: REDUCE-IT CABG

Circulation. 2021 Dec 7;144(23):1845-1855. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.056290. Epub 2021 Oct 28.


Background: Despite advances in surgery and pharmacotherapy, there remains significant residual ischemic risk after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery.

Methods: In REDUCE-IT (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events With Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial), a multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, statin-treated patients with controlled low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia were randomized to 4 g daily of icosapent ethyl or placebo. They experienced a 25% reduction in risk of a primary efficacy end point (composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for unstable angina) and a 26% reduction in risk of a key secondary efficacy end point (composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) when compared with placebo. The current analysis reports on the subgroup of patients from the trial with a history of coronary artery bypass grafting.

Results: Of the 8179 patients randomized in REDUCE-IT, a total of 1837 (22.5%) had a history of coronary artery bypass grafting, with 897 patients randomized to icosapent ethyl and 940 to placebo. Baseline characteristics were similar between treatment groups. Randomization to icosapent ethyl was associated with a significant reduction in the primary end point (hazard ratio [HR], 0.76 [95% CI, 0.63-0.92]; P=0.004), in the key secondary end point (HR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.56-0.87]; P=0.001), and in total (first plus subsequent or recurrent) ischemic events (rate ratio, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.50-0.81]; P=0.0002) compared with placebo. This yielded an absolute risk reduction of 6.2% (95% CI, 2.3%-10.2%) in first events, with a number needed to treat of 16 (95% CI, 10-44) during a median follow-up time of 4.8 years. Safety findings were similar to the overall study: beyond an increased rate of atrial fibrillation/flutter requiring hospitalization for at least 24 hours (5.0% vs 3.1%; P=0.03) and a nonsignificant increase in bleeding, occurrences of adverse events were comparable between groups.

Conclusions: In REDUCE-IT patients with a history of coronary artery bypass grafting, treatment with icosapent ethyl was associated with significant reductions in first and recurrent ischemic events. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov; Unique identifier: NCT01492361.

Keywords: coronary artery bypass; eicosapentaenoic acid; fatty acids; fatty acids, omega-3; lipids; prevention and control; triglycerides.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Artery Bypass*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01492361