Thromb Haemost 2022; 122(11): 1879-1887
DOI: 10.1055/a-1853-2952
New Technologies, Diagnostic Tools and Drugs

Clopidogrel Monotherapy versus Aspirin Monotherapy in Patients with Established Cardiovascular Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1   Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
,
Ioannis G. Kyriakoulis
1   Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
,
Dimitrios Sagris
1   Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
,
Hans Christoph Diener
2   Department of Neuroepidemiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
,
George Ntaios
1   Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Abstract

Background There is no clear consensus on whether aspirin offers better outcomes in terms of secondary cardiovascular disease prevention compared with clopidogrel.

Objective The aim of the study was to compare the safety and efficacy of clopidogrel versus aspirin in patients with established cardiovascular disease.

Methods A systematic review of MEDLINE (via PubMed), Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases (last search date: August 28, 2021) was performed according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) statement for randomized control trials (RCTs) of clopidogrel versus aspirin as monotherapy in patients with established cardiovascular disease. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed.

Results Five RCTs incorporating 26,855 patients (clopidogrel: 13,426; aspirin: 13,429) were included. No statistically significant difference was observed between clopidogrel and aspirin in terms of all-cause mortality (odds ratio [OR]: 1.01 [95% confidence interval, CI: 0.91–1.13]; p = 0.83), ischemic stroke (OR: 0.87 [95% CI: 0.71–1.06]; p = 0.16), and major bleeding rates (OR: 0.77 [95% CI: 0.56–1.06]; p = 0.11). Patients receiving clopidogrel had borderline lower risk for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) (OR: 0.84 [95% CI: 0.71–1.00]; p = 0.05) and lower risk for nonfatal myocardial infarction (OR: 0.83 [95% CI: 0.71–0.97]; p = 0.02, relative risk reduction = 16.9%, absolute risk reduction = 0.5%, number needed to treat = 217 for a mean period of 20 months) compared with patients receiving aspirin.

Conclusion In patients with established cardiovascular disease, clopidogrel was associated with a 17% relative-risk reduction for nonfatal MI, borderline decreased risk for MACE, and similar risk for all-cause mortality, stroke, and major bleeding compared with aspirin.

Protocol Registration PROSPERO CRD42021283866.

Author Contributions

P.T.T.: responsible for acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation, as well as preparation of the article. I.G.K.: helped in acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation, and critical revision of the article for important intellectual content. D.S.: contributed toward acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation, and critical revision of the article for important intellectual content. H.C.D.: responsible for critical revision of the article for important intellectual content. G.N.: responsible for study concept and design, preparation of the article, and study supervision.


Supplementary Material



Publication History

Received: 18 January 2022

Accepted: 14 May 2022

Accepted Manuscript online:
16 May 2022

Article published online:
31 July 2022

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