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Background The optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy after coronary drug-eluting stent placement in adults with stable coronary artery disease (SCAD) versus acute coronary syndromes (ACS) remains uncertain. Methods and Results This was a prespecified subgroup analysis of the GLOBAL LEADERS trial. Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to the experimental or reference strategy, stratified by ACS (experimental, n=3750; reference, n=3737) versus SCAD (experimental, n=4230; reference, n=4251). The experimental strategy was 75 to 100 mg aspirin daily plus 90 mg ticagrelor twice daily for 1 month, followed by 23 months of ticagrelor monotherapy. The reference strategy was 75 to 100 mg aspirin daily plus either 75 mg clopidogrel daily (for SCAD) or 90 mg ticagrelor twice daily (for ACS) for 12 months, followed by aspirin monotherapy for 12 months. The primary end point at 2 years was a composite of all-cause mortality or non-fatal centrally adjudicated new Q-wave myocardial infarction. The key secondary safety end point was site-reported Bleeding Academic Research Consortium grade 3 or 5 bleeding. The primary end point occurred in 147 (3.92%) versus 169 (4.52%) patients with ACS (rate ratio [RR], 0.86; 95% CI, 0.69-1.08; P=0.189), and in 157 (3.71%) versus 180 (4.23%) patients with SCAD (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.71-1.08; P=0.221) with experimental and reference strategy, respectively (P-interaction=0.926). Bleeding Academic Research Consortium grade 3 or 5 bleeding occurred in 73 (1.95%) versus 100 (2.68%) patients with ACS (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.54-0.98; P=0.037), and in 90 (2.13%) versus 69 (1.62%) patients with SCAD (RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 0.97-1.81; P=0.081; P-interaction=0.007). Conclusions While there was no evidence for differences in efficacy between treatment strategies by subgroup, the experimental strategy appeared to reduce bleeding risk in patients with ACS but not in patients with SCAD. Registration URL:; Unique identifier: NCT01813435.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Heart Assoc

Publication Date





acute coronary syndrome, all‐comers, antiplatelet therapy, coronary, intervention, stable coronary artery disease, ticagrelor, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Coronary Artery Disease, Drug-Eluting Stents, Dual Anti-Platelet Therapy, Hemorrhage, Humans, Myocardial Infarction, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors, Ticagrelor