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Erratum: Aspirin plus Clopidogrel as Secondary Prevention after Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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posted on 25.07.2017, 13:53 by Zhang Q., Wang C., Zheng M., Li Y., Li J., Zhang L., Shang X., Yan C.
Background: Antiplatelet agents are the mainstay for secondary prevention of non-cardioembolic stroke. This systematic review examined the safety and efficacy of short-, middle-, and long-term aspirin in combination with clopidogrel as secondary prevention of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) of presumed arterial origin. Methods: PubMed, EmBase, and CENTRAL were searched up to May 2014. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared aspirin plus clopidogrel versus aspirin or clopidogrel as secondary prevention of stroke or TIA of arterial origin were included. The analyses were stratified into short-term (≤3 months), middle-term (>3 months and <1 year), and long-term (≥1 year). Outcomes were compared using risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI). Results: Eight RCTs (20,728 patients) were included in the overall analysis. Compared with aspirin or clopidogrel alone, the complete analysis of all the data indicated that the combination therapy significantly reduced the risk of stroke recurrence (RR, 0.82; 95% CI 0.70-0.96, p = 0.01) and major vascular events (RR, 0.84; 95% CI 0.73-0.96, p < 0.01). But the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (RR, 1.59; 95% CI 1.08-2.33, p = 0.02) and major bleeding (RR, 1.83; 95% CI 1.37-2.45, p < 0.01) was increased. No RCT studied middle-term combination therapy. The analyses were therefore stratified into only two subgroups, short- and long-term treatment. Stratified analysis of short-term treatment showed that relative to monotherapy, the drug combination reduced the risk of stroke recurrence (RR, 0.69; 95% CI 0.59-0.81, p < 0.01) and did not increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (RR, 1.23; 95% CI 0.50-3.04, p = 0.65) and major bleeding events (RR, 2.17; 95% CI 0.18-25.71, p = 0.54). Short-term combination therapy was associated with a significantly lower risk of major vascular events (RR, 0.70; 95% CI 0.69 to 0.82, p < 0.01). Stratified analysis of long-term treatment revealed that the combination treatment did not decrease the risk of stroke recurrence (RR, 0.92; 95% CI 0.83-1.03, p = 0.15), but was associated with a significantly higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke (RR, 1.67; 95% CI 1.10-2.56, p = 0.02) and major bleeding events (RR, 1.90; 95% CI 1.46-2.48, p < 0.01). Long-term combination therapy failed to reduce the risk of major vascular events (RR, 0.92; 95% CI 0.84-1.03, p = 0.09). Conclusions: Compared with monotherapy, short-term aspirin in combination with clopidogrel is more effective as secondary prevention of stroke or TIA without increasing the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and major bleeding events. Long-term combination therapy does not reduce the risk of stroke recurrence, and is associated with increased major bleeding events. The clinical applicability of the findings of this systematic review, however, needs to be confirmed in future clinical trials.

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