eISSN: 1897-4252
ISSN: 1731-5530
Kardiochirurgia i Torakochirurgia Polska/Polish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
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vol. 16
Original paper

Coronary artery bypass grafting on clopidogrel or ticagrelor therapy: interval of discontinuation and risk of bleeding

Paolo Nardi
Dionisio F. Colella
Calogera Pisano
Carlo Bassano
Antonio Scafuri
Fabio Bertoldo
Dario Buioni
Giovanni Ruvolo

Kardiochir Torakochir Pol 2019; 16 (4): 166-172
Online publish date: 2020/01/15
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To evaluate retrospectively the impact of ticagrelor or clopidogrel in patients taking dual antiplatelet aggregation therapy (DAPT, ASA + clopidogrel or ticagrelor) undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) on postoperative bleeding complications and need for mediastinal surgical re-exploration, focusing on the interval of discontinuation of DAPT.

Material and methods
From January 2017 to January 2018, 190 patients underwent coronary artery bypass grafting with DAPT discontinuation 5 days (group 1, n = 82), 2–4 days (group 2, n = 84), or 0–1 days (group 3, n = 24) prior to CABG.

As compared to group 1, blood loss from chest tube drainages at 24 hours was significantly higher in groups 2 and 3 (480 ±238 vs. 512 ±209 vs. 640 ±253 ml; p = 0.007 and p = 0.016). Incidence of surgical re-exploration for bleeding was 1.2% in group 1, 2.4% in group 2, 12.5% in group 3 (p = 0.014). Independent predictors of surgical re-exploration were group 3 (p = 0.05; HR = 9.2) and preoperative increased value of creatinine serum level (p = 0.02; HR = 1.3). In group 3, the incidence of re-exploration was 5.6% (1/18) in patients taking ASA + clopidogrel, 33.3% (2/6) in those taking ASA + ticagrelor (HR-32), respectively (p < 0.001). Operative mortality was 1.2% in group 1, 1.2% in group 2, absent in group 3 (p = not significant).

Continued DAPT intake until CABG shows a clear trend towards more bleeding complications when compared with its discontinuation. Major blood loss and surgical re-exploration were not associated with an increased risk of operative mortality. Ticagrelor intake confers a higher risk of bleeding in comparison with clopidogrel; by stopping its intake at least 2 days prior to surgery, an increased risk of bleeding complications is not observed.


clopidogrel, ticagrelor, coronary artery bypass, bleeding

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