Research Article| Volume 29, ISSUE 4, 104632, April 2020

Comparison of Antiplatelet Therapies for Prevention of Patent Foramen Ovale-Associated Stroke



      The REDUCE study demonstrated a reduction in the risk of recurrent stroke with patent foramen ovale closure and antiplatelet therapy compared to antiplatelet therapy alone. The clinicians were allowed to choose among aspirin, clopidogrel, or aspirin/dipyridamole with the expectation that all antiplatelet therapies would have similar efficacy in this population. We tested that presumption by comparing recurrent stroke rates among antiplatelet agents within the control arm of the trial.


      We evaluated patients in REDUCE study who were randomized to the medical arm. The primary endpoint for this analysis was freedom from clinical ischemic stroke through at least 2 years of follow-up, to a maximum of 5 years. In the primary analysis, antiplatelet treatment was defined as the agent during the week prior to a recurrent stroke or last known contact.


      Of 223 patients in the medical treatment arm, the initial agent was aspirin 52%, clopidogrel 30%, and aspirin/dipyridamole 12%. Patients treated with aspirin were similar to those treated with alternatives, but were more likely to be enrolled in the United States. The last reported agent was aspirin alone in 55%, clopidogrel alone in 31%, aspirin/dipyridamole in 7%, and other/nothing/missing in 7%. Recurrent stroke rates were similar for all 3 antiplatelet regimens in unadjusted and adjusted analyses, with no overall difference among agents (P= .17).


      Among patients with patent foramen ovale-associated stroke who were managed medically, there were no differences among antiplatelet agents in the risk of recurrent stroke, though confidence intervals were wide.

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