Clopidogrel bolus is an option used before carotid artery stent (CAS) placement when sustained clopidogrel pretreatment is not used.
To compare the effect of clopidogrel bolus (450 mg administered ≥4 hours) with sustained clopidogrel pretreatment (48 hours or greater) before CAS among patients recruited in the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial.
We compared the rates of primary end point (either any stroke, myocardial infarction, or death during the periprocedural period or any ipsilateral stroke within 4 years) between patients who received clopidogrel bolus and those who received sustained clopidogrel pretreatment using Cox proportional hazards analysis after adjusting for age, sex, symptomatic status, and initial severity of stenosis (≥70% vs <70%) over 4 years.
The rate of periprocedural stroke (7.3% vs 3.4%, P = .03) and primary end point (11.3% vs 5.9%, P = .02) was significantly higher among patients who received clopidogrel bolus. The risk of primary end point was significantly higher in patients who received clopidogrel bolus (hazards ratio 1.9, 95% CI 1.1–3.4, P = .02) after adjusting for potential confounders. The overall mean (±standard deviation) primary end point–free survival based on Kaplan–Meier analysis was 7.0 ± 0.2 years for patients who received clopidogrel bolus and 8.9 ± 0.1 years for those who received sustained clopidogrel pretreatment (log-rank test P = .011).
Clopidogrel bolus was associated with higher rates of adverse outcomes compared with sustained clopidogrel pretreatment in patients who underwent CAS. Therefore, clopidogrel bolus may not be equivalent to sustained clopidogrel pretreatment.