Results of the management of atherothrombosis with clopidogrel in high-risk patients trial: implications for the neurologist
Department of Neurology
Brain Ischemia; Clinical Trials as Topic; Drug Therapy, Combination; Humans; Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Risk Factors; Thrombosis; Ticlopidine; *Treatment Outcome
Nervous System Diseases | Neurology
The secondary prevention of ischemic stroke is aided by the use of antiplatelet therapy, and the predominant current choices are aspirin, aspirin plus extended-release dipyridamole, and clopidogrel. The potential utility of combining platelet antiaggregants with different mechanisms of action proved successful with aspirin plus extended-release dipyridamole, and this approach has been explored with the combination of clopidogrel and aspirin. In the Management of Atherothrombosis With Clopidogrel in High-Risk Patients trial, this combination was compared with clopidogrel alone for secondary prevention in patients with transient ischemic attack and stroke in a high-risk population with a high prevalence of other vascular risk factors. A nonsignificant trend for a reduction of the combined endpoint of ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, vascular death, and rehospitalization was observed in the combination therapy group (P = .24). The frequency of serious, life-threatening bleeding adverse effects was almost doubled in the combination arm. Neurologists need to be aware of these results and avoid the use of clopidogrel plus aspirin in patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack until evidence that the combination is safe in this population is provided. Neurologists faced with patients who have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack and are receiving this combination of antiplatelet agents after coronary stenting should inform their cardiology colleagues of the reported bleeding risk, and they should encourage the use of the combination for as short a time period as possible after such coronary intervention.
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Citation: Arch Neurol. 2006 Jan;63(1):20-4. Link to article on publisher's site