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Patients undergoing staged percutaneous coronary intervention (SPCI) are exposed to extended duration of antiplatelet therapy, and a novel aspirin-free antiplatelet regimen after SPCI should be specifically evaluated among these patients. This is a prespecified substudy of the GLOBAL LEADERS which is a randomized, open-label trial, comparing an experimental regimen of 1-month dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT; ticagrelor and aspirin) followed by 23-month ticagrelor monotherapy to a reference regimen of 12-month DAPT followed by 12-month aspirin monotherapy. Patients were stratified according to whether or not SPCI was performed. The impact of the timing of SPCI on clinical outcomes was also investigated. Of 15,968 randomized patients, 1,651 patients underwent SPCI within 3 months. These patients with SPCI had a significantly higher risk of bleeding and ischemic endpoints than those without SPCI. In patients undergoing SPCI, the primary endpoint (composite of all-cause death or new Q-wave myocardial infarction at 2 years) and secondary safety endpoint (Bleeding Academic Research Consortium [BARC]-defined bleeding 3 or 5) were similar in the 2 regimens. However, in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), the experimental regimen reduced a risk of BARC 3 or 5 bleeding (1.8% vs 4.5%; HR 0.387; 95% CI 0.179 to 0.836; p = 0.016). In patients undergoing SPCI later than 10 days after index procedure, this risk reduction was still prominent (0.8% vs 2.3%; HR 0.321; 95% CI 0.116 to 0.891; p = 0.029). In conclusion, patients undergoing SPCI are at high risk and may need special attention from clinicians. In ACS patients undergoing SPCI, a novel aspirin-free antiplatelet regimen appears to be associated with a lower bleeding risk than with standard DAPT.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Cardiol

Publication Date





1 - 10


Acute Coronary Syndrome, Aged, Aspirin, Coronary Stenosis, Drug-Eluting Stents, Dual Anti-Platelet Therapy, Female, Hemorrhage, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mortality, Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors, Ticagrelor, Treatment Outcome