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Ticagrelor is safe in ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients who received fibrinolysis

Narathip Chunhamaneewat, MD
Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University
22 Apr 2019
Compared with clopidogrel, ticagrelor reduced the rate of vascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke without an increase in bleeding in the patients with acute coronary syndrome (1).  However, ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients who had received fibrinolytic therapy were not included in the study.  There was no pharmacological reason to consider potent P2Y12 inhibitors would not be beneficial in this subgroup, but the concern was bleeding risk which might have been added after fibrinolysis.  Despite a gap of evidence, European guidelines recommended an arbitrary 48-hour-period after fibronolytic therapy in patients who underwent PCI after fibrinolysis (2).

TREAT study filled in the gap.  In STEMI patients aged < 75 years who received fibrinolysis, ticagrelor was non inferior to clopidogrel for major bleeding at 30 days.  The rates of fatal bleeding and intracranial bleeding were similar.  89.4% patients in TREAT study received clopidogrel prior to randomization.  Both groups were randomized with a median of 2.6 hours from chest pain to fibrinolytic therapy and 11.4 hours after fibrinolytic therapy to randomization.

At 1 year, the major bleeding, fatal bleeding and intracranial bleeding were similar.  The exploratory efficacy outcomes including composite outcome of death from vascular causes, myocardial infarction or stroke was not statistically different between two groups.  However, it showed the trend favoring ticagrelor which is similar to PLATO study (4).  There were a couple of things to keep in mind.  TREAT study was powered for safety endpoint, not efficacy endpoint.  Because of the trial design, the STEMI patients who survived, did not have reocclusion, hemodynamic instability or bleeding at 12 hour-randomization-gap likely represented low risk STEMI patients.  The trial size has be much bigger to demonstrate ischemic superiority when the ischemic event is low; therefore, the possibility of such study to be conducted is low.

Although there is still some evidence gap, there is no reason to withhold ticagrelor in ST-elevation patients who received fibrinolysis when the safety has been proven.
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Most Read Articles
Stephen Padilla, 5 days ago
Local clusters of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can be expected in countries with high travel volume from China before the lockdown of Wuhan and the institution of travel restrictions, according to a study in Singapore, wherein three initial clusters had been identified in February 2020: a tour group from China, a company conference, and a church.
Pearl Toh, 2 days ago
Every-two-month injections of the long-acting cabotegravir + rilpivirine were noninferior to once-monthly injections for virologic suppression at 48 weeks in people living with HIV*, according to the ATLAS-2M** study presented at CROI 2020 — thus providing a potential option with more convenient dosing.
22 Mar 2020
Sustained use of lopinavir-combined regimen appears to confer benefits among patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with improvement possibly indicated by increasing eosinophils, suggests a recent study.
5 days ago
COVID-19 is a novel disease, with no existing immunity. The virus can be transmitted from person to person, quickly and exponentially. Here’s what we can do to slow down the spread, if not contain the outbreak.