Ticagrelor with and without aspirin in patients with a prior coronary artery bypass graft undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: the TWILIGHT-CABG study

EuroIntervention. 2022 Aug 18;EIJ-D-22-00319. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-22-00319. Online ahead of print.


Background: Prior coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are often older and present with multiple comorbidities. Ticagrelor monotherapy after a short course of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) has emerged as an effective bleeding-avoidance strategy among high-risk patients.

Aims: We aimed to examine the effects of ticagrelor with or without aspirin in prior CABG patients undergoing PCI within the TWILIGHT trial.

Methods: After 3 months of ticagrelor plus aspirin, patients were randomised to either aspirin or placebo, in addition to ticagrelor, for 12 months and compared by prior CABG status. The primary endpoint was Bleeding Academic Research Consortium (BARC) type 2, 3 or 5 bleeding. The key secondary endpoint was all-cause death, myocardial infarction (MI), or stroke.

Results: Out of 7,119 patients, a total of 703 (10.8%) patients had prior CABG within the randomised cohort. Prior CABG patients had more comorbidities and a higher incidence of BARC type 2, 3, or 5 bleeding and death, MI or stroke at 1 year after randomisation, compared with patients without prior CABG. Ticagrelor monotherapy was associated with significantly less BARC 2, 3, or 5 bleeding among prior CABG patients compared with DAPT (4.9% vs 9.6%, hazard ratio [HR] 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.28 to 0.90; pinteraction=0.676) and similar rates of death, MI or stroke (10.0% vs 8.7%, HR 1.14, 95% CI: 0.70 to 1.87; pinteraction=0.484). When comparing target vessel type, treatment effects were consistent among graft- and native-vessel interventions.

Conclusions: In high-risk patients with prior CABG, ticagrelor monotherapy reduced bleeding without compromising ischaemic outcomes compared with ticagrelor plus aspirin.