Guided de-escalation of antiplatelet treatment in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (TROPICAL-ACS): a randomised, open-label, multicentre trial

Dirk Sibbing, Dániel Aradi, Claudius Jacobshagen, Lisa Gross, Dietmar Trenk, Tobias Geisler, Martin Orban, Martin Hadamitzky, Béla Merkely, Róbert Gábor Kiss, András Komócsi, Csaba A Dézsi, Lesca Holdt, Stephan B Felix, Radoslaw Parma, Mariusz Klopotowski, Robert H G Schwinger, Johannes Rieber, Kurt Huber, Franz-Josef Neumann, Lukasz Koltowski, Julinda Mehilli, Zenon Huczek, Steffen Massberg
Lancet 2017 October 14, 390 (10104): 1747-1757

BACKGROUND: Current guidelines recommend potent platelet inhibition with prasugrel or ticagrelor for 12 months after an acute coronary syndrome managed with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, the greatest anti-ischaemic benefit of potent antiplatelet drugs over the less potent clopidogrel occurs early, while most excess bleeding events arise during chronic treatment. Hence, a stage-adapted treatment with potent platelet inhibition in the acute phase and de-escalation to clopidogrel in the maintenance phase could be an alternative approach. We aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of early de-escalation of antiplatelet treatment from prasugrel to clopidogrel guided by platelet function testing (PFT).

METHODS: In this investigator-initiated, randomised, open-label, assessor-blinded, multicentre trial (TROPICAL-ACS) done at 33 sites in Europe, patients were enrolled if they had biomarker-positive acute coronary syndrome with successful PCI and a planned duration of dual antiplatelet treatment of 12 months. Enrolled patients were randomly assigned (1:1) using an internet-based randomisation procedure with a computer-generated block randomisation with stratification across study sites to either standard treatment with prasugrel for 12 months (control group) or a step-down regimen (1 week prasugrel followed by 1 week clopidogrel and PFT-guided maintenance therapy with clopidogrel or prasugrel from day 14 after hospital discharge; guided de-escalation group). The assessors were masked to the treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was net clinical benefit (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke or bleeding grade 2 or higher according to Bleeding Academic Research Consortium [BARC]) criteria) 1 year after randomisation (non-inferiority hypothesis; margin of 30%). Analysis was intention to treat. This study is registered with, number NCT01959451, and EudraCT, 2013-001636-22.

FINDINGS: Between Dec 2, 2013, and May 20, 2016, 2610 patients were assigned to study groups; 1304 to the guided de-escalation group and 1306 to the control group. The primary endpoint occurred in 95 patients (7%) in the guided de-escalation group and in 118 patients (9%) in the control group (pnon-inferiority =0·0004; hazard ratio [HR] 0·81 [95% CI 0·62-1·06], psuperiority =0·12). Despite early de-escalation, there was no increase in the combined risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke in the de-escalation group (32 patients [3%]) versus in the control group (42 patients [3%]; pnon-inferiority =0·0115). There were 64 BARC 2 or higher bleeding events (5%) in the de-escalation group versus 79 events (6%) in the control group (HR 0·82 [95% CI 0·59-1·13]; p=0·23).

INTERPRETATION: Guided de-escalation of antiplatelet treatment was non-inferior to standard treatment with prasugrel at 1 year after PCI in terms of net clinical benefit. Our trial shows that early de-escalation of antiplatelet treatment can be considered as an alternative approach in patients with acute coronary syndrome managed with PCI.

FUNDING: Klinikum der Universität München, Roche Diagnostics, Eli Lilly, and Daiichi Sankyo.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.