Conference Coverage

CABG safe 3 days after stopping ticagrelor: RAPID CABG




RAPID CABG was a physician-initiated multicenter randomized study evaluating the safety of early surgery at 2-3 days after ticagrelor cessation, compared with a delay of 5-7 days among patients presenting with ACS who required nonemergency CABG surgery.

The study enrolled 143 patients with ACS who were receiving ticagrelor and needed CABG surgery. Patients with stenting for culprit lesions, those requiring urgent surgery (less than 24 hours after presentation), and those requiring valve surgery were excluded.

Three patients declined surgery, and several others underwent surgery outside the assigned time window, so the results were based on the per protocol analysis of patients who actually had CABG in the assigned time window: 65 patients in the early CABG group and 58 in the delayed group.

The mean time from last ticagrelor dose to surgery was 3 days in the early group and 6 days in the delayed group.

Platelet reactivity on the VerifyNow test showed more residual antiplatelet activity in the early group, with P2Y12 reaction unit (PRU) levels of 200 (vs. 251 in the delayed group). This test measures the extent of platelet aggregation in the presence of P2Y12-inhibitor drugs, with lower PRU levels showing stronger antiplatelet effects.

The primary outcome of the study was severe or massive bleeding by Universal Definition of Perioperative Bleeding (UDPB) class 3 or 4. This is defined as a blood transfusions of more than 5 units of red blood cells or plasma within 24 hours of surgical closure, chest tube drainage of over 1,000 mL in the first 12 hours, and reoperation for bleeding.

Results showed that 4.6% of the early-surgery group had a primary outcome bleeding event, compared with 5.2% of the delayed surgery group, meeting the criteria for noninferiority (P = .0253 for noninferiority).

Individual components of the primary endpoint showed three class 3 (severe) bleeding events in both groups and no class 4 (massive) bleeding events in either group.

In terms of other bleeding outcomes, TIMI CABG bleeding occurred in two patients (3.1%) in the early-surgery group vs. no patients in the delayed group; BARC 4 bleeding occurred in two patients (3.1%) in the early group versus none in the delayed group, and there were no BARC 5 bleeding events in either group.

In the intention-to-treat analysis, ischemic events before surgery occurred in six patients (8.7%) in the delayed group (one myocardial infarction, four cases of recurrent ischemia, and one ventricular tachycardia) versus none in the early group.

Cumulative 6-month ischemic events occurred in nine patients (13.0%) in the delayed group vs. four patients (5.6%) in the early group, the difference being driven by nonfatal MI and recurrent ischemia.

There were no cardiovascular deaths in either group and one all-cause death in both groups.

Patients undergoing early surgery also had a shorter hospitalization, with a median length of stay of 9 days versus 12 days in the delayed group.

Larger trial needed

Commenting on the RAPID CABG study at an AHA press conference, Joanna Chikwe, MD, chair of the cardiac surgery department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, said the results were in line with her practice.

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