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Annals of internal medicine

Risk-benefit profile of long-term dual- versus single-antiplatelet therapy among patients with ischemic stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


PMID 24081287

Abstract

Dual-antiplatelet regimens for prevention of recurrent stroke promote antithrombotic effects but may increase the risk for hemorrhage. To qualitatively and quantitatively examine the risk for recurrent stroke and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) linked to long-term dual- and single-antiplatelet therapy among patients with ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack. PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials through March 2013 without language restrictions. The search identified 7 randomized, controlled trials that involved a total of 39,574 participants and reported recurrent stroke and ICH as outcome measures. All data from eligible studies were independently abstracted by 2 investigators according to a standard protocol. Recurrent stroke risk did not differ between patients receiving dual-antiplatelet therapy and those receiving aspirin monotherapy (relative risk [RR], 0.89 [95% CI, 0.78 to 1.01]) or clopidogrel monotherapy (RR, 1.01 [CI, 0.93 to 1.08]). Risk for ICH did not differ between patients receiving dual-antiplatelet therapy and those receiving aspirin monotherapy (RR, 0.99 [CI, 0.70 to 1.42]) but was greater among patients receiving dual-antiplatelet therapy than among those receiving clopidogrel monotherapy (RR, 1.46 [CI, 1.17 to 1.82]). Agents used in dual- and single-antiplatelet therapies varied across trials, and the relatively modest number of trials limited subgroup analysis. Compared with monotherapy, dual-antiplatelet therapy lasting more than 1 year after an index ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack is not associated with a greater reduction in overall recurrent stroke risk. However, long-term dual-antiplatelet therapy is linked to higher risk for ICH than clopidogrel monotherapy in this patient population. Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.