assessing and monitoring the antithrombotic effect of clopidogrel and aspirin versus aspirin alone in hypercoagulable patients: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hypercoagulability, assessed by the thrombelastography (TEG) assay, has in several observational studies been associated with an increased risk of post-procedural thromboembolic complications. We hypothesize that intensified antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin, as compared to aspirin alone, will improve saphenous vein graft patency in preoperatively TEG-Hypercoagulable coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) patients and reduce their risk for thromboembolic complications and death postoperatively. METHODS: This is a prospective randomized clinical trial, with an open-label design with blinded evaluation of graft patency. TEG-Hypercoagulability is defined as a TEG maximum amplitude above 69 mm. Two hundred and fifty TEG-Hypercoagulable patients will be randomized to either an interventional group receiving clopidogrel 75 mg daily for three months (after initial oral bolus of 300 mg) together with aspirin 75 mg or a control group receiving aspirin 75 mg daily alone. Monitoring of antiplatelet efficacy and on-treatment platelet reactivity to clopidogrel and aspirin will be conducted with Multiplate aggregometry. Graft patency will be assessed with Multislice computed tomography (MSCT) at three months after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The present trial is the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate whether TEG-Hypercoagulable CABG patients will benefit from intensified antiplatelet therapy after surgery. Monitoring of platelet inhibition from instituted antithrombotic therapy will elucidate platelet resistance patterns after CABG surgery. The results could be helpful in redefining how clinicians can evaluate patients preoperatively for their postoperative thromboembolic risk and tailor individualized postoperative antiplatelet therapy. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT01046942.