JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2023 Oct 23;16(20):2514-2524. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2023.08.019.
BACKGROUND: Nearly 20% of patients on ticagrelor experience dyspnea, which may lead to treatment discontinuation in up to one-third of cases.
OBJECTIVES: The authors sought to evaluate the incidence, predictors, and outcomes of dyspnea-related ticagrelor discontinuation after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
METHODS: In the TWILIGHT (Ticagrelor With Aspirin or Alone in High-Risk Patients After Coronary Intervention) trial, after 3 months of ticagrelor plus aspirin, patients were maintained on ticagrelor and randomized to aspirin or placebo for 1 year. The occurrence of dyspnea associated with ticagrelor discontinuation was evaluated among all patients enrolled in the trial. A landmark analysis was performed at 3 months after PCI, that is, the time of randomization. Predictors of dyspnea-related ticagrelor discontinuation were obtained from multivariable Cox regression with stepwise selection of candidate variables.
RESULTS: The incidence of dyspnea-related ticagrelor discontinuation was 6.4% and 9.1% at 3 and 15 months after PCI, respectively. Independent predictors included Asian race (lower risk), smoking, prior PCI, hypercholesterolemia, prior coronary artery bypass, peripheral artery disease, obesity, and older age. Among 179 patients who discontinued ticagrelor because of dyspnea after randomization, ticagrelor monotherapy was not associated with a higher risk of subsequent ischemic events (composite of all-cause death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) compared with ticagrelor plus aspirin (5.0% vs 7.1%; P = 0.566).
CONCLUSIONS: In the TWILIGHT trial, dyspnea-related ticagrelor discontinuation occurred in almost 1 in 10 patients and tended to occur earlier rather than late after PCI. Several demographic and clinical conditions predicted its occurrence, and their assessment may help identify subjects at risk for therapy nonadherence.