BACKGROUND: Elderly patients regularly receive bare-metal stents (BMS) instead of drug-eluting stents (DES) to shorten the duration of double antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). The aim of this study was to compare outcomes between these two types of stents with a short duration of DAPT in such patients.
METHODS: In this randomised single-blind trial, we recruited patients from 44 centres in nine countries. Patients were eligible if they were aged 75 years or older; had stable angina, silent ischaemia, or an acute coronary syndrome; and had at least one coronary artery with a stenosis of at least 70% (>/=50% for the left main stem) deemed eligible for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Exclusion criteria were indication for myocardial revascularisation by coronary artery bypass grafting; inability to tolerate, obtain, or comply with DAPT; requirement for additional surgery; non-cardiac comorbidities with a life expectancy of less than 1 year; previous haemorrhagic stroke; allergy to aspirin or P2Y12 inhibitors; contraindication to P2Y12 inhibitors; and silent ischaemia of less than 10% of the left myocardium with a fractional flow reserve of 0.80 or higher. After the intended duration of DAPT was recorded (1 month for patients with stable presentation and 6 months for those with unstable presentation), patients were randomly allocated (1:1) by a central computer system (blocking used with randomly selected block sizes [two, four, eight, or 16]; stratified by site and antiplatelet agent) to either a DES or similar BMS in a single-blind fashion (ie, patients were masked), but those assessing outcomes were masked. The primary outcome was to compare major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (ie, a composite of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, or ischaemia-driven target lesion revascularisation) between groups at 1 year in the intention-to-treat population, assessed at 30 days, 180 days, and 1 year. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02099617.
FINDINGS: Between May 21, 2014, and April 16, 2016, we randomly assigned 1200 patients (596 [50%] to the DES group and 604 [50%] to the BMS group). The primary endpoint occurred in 68 (12%) patients in the DES group and 98 (16%) in the BMS group (relative risk [RR] 0.71 [95% CI 0.52-0.94]; p=0.02). Bleeding complications (26 [5%] in the DES group vs 29 [5%] in the BMS group; RR 0.90 [0.51-1.54]; p=0.68) and stent thrombosis (three [1%] vs eight [1%]; RR 0.38 [0.00-1.48]; p=0.13) at 1 year were infrequent in both groups.
INTERPRETATION: Among elderly patients who have PCI, a DES and a short duration of DAPT are better than BMS and a similar duration of DAPT with respect to the occurrence of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, and ischaemia-driven target lesion revascularisation.
A strategy of combination of a DES to reduce the risk of subsequent repeat revascularisations with a short BMS-like DAPT regimen to reduce the risk of bleeding event is an attractive option for elderly patients who have PCI.
FUNDING: Boston Scientific.