Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2023 Mar 3. doi: 10.1007/s40256-023-00574-9. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of antithrombotic regimens and their combinations in preventing thrombotic incidents in patients with stable atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (S-ASCVD).
METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted in the PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. The primary comprehensive endpoint was a major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) composite of cardiovascular death, stroke, or myocardial infarction, while the secondary endpoints were cardiovascular death, all-cause stroke, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, and all-cause death. The safety endpoint was major bleeding. Bayesian network meta-regression analysis in R software was used to calculate the final effect size and to correct for the effect of follow-up time on the outcome effect size.
RESULTS: Twelve studies reporting 122,190 patients with eight antithrombotic regimens were included in this systematic review. For the primary composite endpoint, low-dose aspirin plus clopidogrel 75 mg (hazard ratio [HR] 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.87) and low-dose aspirin plus rivaroxaban 2.5 mg twice daily (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.34-0.82) showed significantly better efficacy than clopidogrel monotherapy, and the efficacy was comparable among the first two regimens. Unfortunately, none of the active regimens significantly decreased all-cause death, cardiovascular death branch, and all-cause stroke as part of the secondary endpoints. Low-dose aspirin plus ticagrelor 90 mg twice daily (HR 0.81, 95% CI 0.69-0.94) and low-dose aspirin plus ticagrelor 60 mg twice daily (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.74-0.95) had a significant advantage in myocardial infarction compared with low-dose aspirin monotherapy, while low-dose aspirin plus 2.5 mg rivaroxaban twice daily (HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.41-0.94) was better than low-dose aspirin in the treatment of ischemic stroke. In the major bleeding branch, low-dose aspirin plus ticagrelor 90 mg twice daily (HR 2.2, 95% CI 1.70-2.90), low-dose aspirin plus ticagrelor 60 mg twice daily (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.70-2.60), low-dose aspirin plus rivaroxaban 2.5 mg twice daily (HR 1.7, 95% CI 1.30-2.00), and rivaroxaban 5 mg twice daily (HR 1.5, 95% CI 1.20-1.90) showed higher major bleeding risk compared with low-dose aspirin.
CONCLUSIONS: Considering MACEs, myocardial infarction, all kinds of stroke, ischemic stroke, and major bleeding, low-dose aspirin plus rivaroxaban 2.5 mg twice daily should be considered the preferred regimen for S-ASCVD patients with low bleeding risk.