Post-PCI Ticagrelor Monotherapy May Lower Bleeding Risk Without Compromising Ischemia Prevention in Patients with Prior MI

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate if patients with prior myocardial infarction (MI) could benefit from ticagrelor monotherapy in terms of bleeding reduction without any compromise in ischemic event prevention.

BACKGROUND: Patients with history of MI who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remain at risk for recurrent ischemic events. The optimal antithrombotic strategy for this cohort remains debated.

METHODS: In this prespecified analysis of the randomized TWILIGHT (Ticagrelor With Aspirin or Alone in High-Risk Patients after Coronary Intervention) trial, the authors evaluated the impact of history of MI on treatment effect of ticagrelor monotherapy versus ticagrelor plus aspirin in patients undergoing PCI with drug-eluting stent with at least 1 clinical and 1 angiographic high-risk feature and free from adverse events at 3 months after index PCI. The primary endpoint was Bleeding Academic Research Consortium type 2, 3, or 5 bleeding, and the key secondary endpoint was the composite of all-cause death, MI, or stroke, both at 12 months after randomization.

RESULTS: A total of 1,937 patients (29.7%) with and 4,595 patients (70.3%) without prior MI were randomized to ticagrelor and placebo or ticagrelor and aspirin. At 1 year after randomization, patients with prior MI experienced higher rates of death, MI, or stroke (5.7% vs 3.2%; P < 0.001) but similar BARC types 2 to 5 bleeding (5.0% vs 5.5%; P = 0.677) compared with patients without prior MI. Ticagrelor monotherapy consistently reduced the risk for the primary bleeding outcome in patients with (3.4% vs 6.7%; HR: 0.50; 95% CI: 0.33-0.76) and without (4.2% vs 7.0%; HR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.45-0.76; Pinteraction = 0.54) prior MI. Rates of the key secondary ischemic outcome were not significantly different between treatment groups irrespective of history of MI (prior MI, 6.0% vs 5.5% [HR: 1.09; 95% CI: 0.75-1.58]; no prior MI, 3.1% vs 3.3% [HR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.67-1.28]; Pinteraction = 0.52).

CONCLUSIONS: Ticagrelor monotherapy is associated with significantly lower risk for bleeding events compared with ticagrelor plus aspirin, without any compromise in ischemic prevention, among high-risk patients with history of MI undergoing PCI. (Ticagrelor With Aspirin or Alone in High-Risk Patients After Coronary Intervention [TWILIGHT]; NCT02270242)

Chiarito M, et al. Ticagrelor Monotherapy After PCI in High-Risk Patients With Prior MI: A Prespecified TWILIGHT Substudy. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2022 Feb 14;15(3):282-293. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2021.11.005. Epub 2022 Jan 12.