Background - After coronary artery bypass surgery, patients have a high cumulative rate of graft closure and recurrent ischemic events. We sought to determine whether antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel would be more effective than aspirin, the accepted standard, in these patients. Methods and Results - The event rates for all-cause mortality, vascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and rehospitalization were determined for the 1480 patients with a history of cardiac surgery randomized to either clopidogrel or aspirin in a trial of 19185 patients. The event rate per year of vascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or rehospitalization was 22.3% in the 705 patients randomized to aspirin and 15.9% in the 775 patients randomized to clopidogrel (P=0.001). A risk reduction was also seen in each of the individual end points examined, including a 42.8% relative risk reduction in vascular death in patients on clopidogrel versus aspirin (P=0.030). In a multivariate model incorporating baseline clinical characteristics, clopidogrel therapy was independently associated with a decrease in vascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or rehospitalization in patients with a history of cardiac surgery, with a 31.2% relative risk reduction (95% CI, 15.8 to 43.8; P=0.0003). Although clopidogrel therapy was efficacious in the entire Clopidogrel Versus Aspirin in Patients at Risk of Ischemic Events (CAPRIE) population, multivariate analysis demonstrated that patients with previous cardiac surgery derived particular benefit (P=0.015). Conclusion - Compared with aspirin, clopidogrel therapy results in a striking reduction in the elevated risk for recurrent ischemic events seen in patients with a history of prior cardiac surgery, along with a decreased risk of bleeding.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)