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  1. Bueno H, Rossello X, Pocock SJ, Van de Werf F, Chin CT, Danchin N, et al.
    J. Am. Coll. Cardiol., 2019 Sep 17;74(11):1454-1461.
    PMID: 31514947 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.06.068
    BACKGROUND: The relationship between in-hospital coronary revascularization rate (CRR) and post-discharge mortality rates in survivors of non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS) at a system level is unclear.

    OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate CRR and 2-year post-discharge mortality rate (2YMR) in NSTE-ACS.

    METHODS: CRR and 2YMR were analyzed by hospital rate of CRR (in deciles), by country, and by world region in 11,931 patients with NSTE-ACS who survived to discharge and were enrolled in the EPICOR (long-tErm follow uP of antithrombotic management patterns In acute CORonary syndrome patients) and EPICOR Asia: twin multinational, observational, prospective cohort studies.

    RESULTS: Significant differences in patient baseline characteristics, medical therapies, CRR, and 2YMR were found. Mean CRR ranged from 0.0% to 96.8% in the first and tenth decile, respectively (p 

  2. Chin CT, Ong TK, Krittayaphong R, Lee SW, Sawhney JPS, Kim HS, et al.
    Int. J. Cardiol., 2017 Sep 15;243:15-20.
    PMID: 28747021 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.04.059
    BACKGROUND: Many patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes (NSTE-ACS) are medically managed without coronary revascularization. The reasons vary and may impact prognosis.

    METHODS: EPICOR Asia (NCT01361386) is a prospective study of hospital survivors post-ACS enrolled in 218 hospitals from 8 countries/regions in Asia (06/2011-05/2012). All medically managed NSTE-ACS patients were classified into 3 groups: 1) no coronary angiography (CAG-); 2) non-significant coronary artery disease (CAD) on angiogram (CAG+ CAD-); and 3) significant CAD (CAG+ CAD+). We compared baseline differences between patients medically managed and patients undergoing revascularization, and also between the medically managed groups. Adverse events were reported and compared up to 2years.

    RESULTS: Of 6163 NSTE-ACS patients, 2272 (37%) were medically managed, with 1339 (59%), 254 (11%), and 679 (30%) in the CAG-, CAG+ CAD-, and CAG+ CAD+ groups, respectively. There were marked differences in the proportion of medically managed patients among the 8 countries/regions (13-81%). Medically managed patients had higher mortality at 2years compared with revascularization (8.7% vs. 3.0%, p<0.001). Among medically managed patients, CAG- patients were older, more likely to have pre-existing cardiovascular disease, and had the highest 2-year mortality (10.5% vs. 4.3% [CAG+ CAD-] and 6.6% [CAG+ CAD+], p<0.001). Mortality differences persisted after adjusting for other patient risk factors.

    CONCLUSIONS: Medically managed NSTE-ACS patients are a heterogeneous group with different risk stratification and variable prognosis. Identification of reasons underlying different management strategies, and key factors adversely influencing long-term prognosis, may improve outcomes.

  3. Jan S, Lee SW, Sawhney JPS, Ong TK, Chin CT, Kim HS, et al.
    BMC Cardiovasc Disord, 2018 07 04;18(1):139.
    PMID: 29973147 DOI: 10.1186/s12872-018-0859-4
    BACKGROUND: The EPICOR Asia (long-tErm follow-uP of antithrombotic management patterns In acute CORonary syndrome patients in Asia) study (NCT01361386) was an observational study of patients hospitalized for acute coronary syndromes (ACS) enrolled in 218 hospitals in eight countries/regions in Asia. This study examined costs, length of stay and the predictors of high costs during an ACS hospitalization.

    METHODS AND RESULTS: Data for patients hospitalized for an ACS (n = 12,922) were collected on demographics, medical history, event characteristics, socioeconomic and insurance status at discharge. Patients were followed up at 6 weeks' post-hospitalization for an ACS event to assess associated treatment costs from a health sector perspective. Primary outcome was the incurring of costs in the highest quintile by country and index event diagnosis, and identification of associated predictors. Cost data were available for 10,819 patients. Mean length of stay was 10.1 days. The highest-cost countries were China, Singapore, and South Korea. Significant predictors of high-cost care were age, male sex, income, country, prior disease history, hospitalization in 3 months before index event, no dependency before index event, having an invasive procedure, hospital type and length of stay.

    CONCLUSIONS: Substantial variability exists in healthcare costs for hospitalized ACS patients across Asia. Of concern is the observation that the highest costs were reported in China, given the rapidly increasing numbers of procedures in recent years.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01361386 .

  4. Zhang S, Wang W, Sawhney JPS, Krittayaphong R, Kim HS, Nhan VT, et al.
    Int. J. Cardiol., 2020 Mar 16.
    PMID: 32192746 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.01.008
    BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases account for approximately half of all deaths in Asia. The present analysis aimed to evaluate characteristics, antithrombotic management patterns (AMPs), and outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) who underwent in-hospital percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and survived to hospital discharge, using data from the EPICOR Asia registry (NCT01361386).

    METHODS: Two-year post-discharge follow-up data were analyzed from 8757 ACS PCI patients from EPICOR Asia (218 centers, eight countries). Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE; death, non-fatal myocardial infarction [MI], non-fatal ischemic stroke), PCI characteristics, and AMPs were recorded. For MACE, time - to - event was analyzed using Cox regression.

    RESULTS: Primary PCI was performed in 62.0% of ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI), 38.7% of non-STEMI (NSTEMI), and 24.2% of unstable angina (UA) patients. At 12 months, 88.1% of patients were on dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT), with no differences by index event. Most (61.5%) still received DAPT at 2 years. Two-year incidences of mortality, composite MACE, and bleeding were 3.6%, 6.2%, and 6.6%, respectively. Risk of death and MACE was increased with STEMI and NSTEMI vs. UA. Patients from East Asia showed lower mortality and more bleeding vs. Southeast Asia/India.

    CONCLUSIONS: Many patients in EPICOR Asia underwent PCI and received DAPT up to 2 years post-discharge. These real-world findings improve our understanding of AMP impact on outcomes in Asian patients with ACS undergoing PCI.

  5. Urban P, Meredith IT, Abizaid A, Pocock SJ, Carrié D, Naber C, et al.
    N. Engl. J. Med., 2015 Nov 19;373(21):2038-47.
    PMID: 26466021 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1503943
    BACKGROUND: Patients at high risk for bleeding who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) often receive bare-metal stents followed by 1 month of dual antiplatelet therapy. We studied a polymer-free and carrier-free drug-coated stent that transfers umirolimus (also known as biolimus A9), a highly lipophilic sirolimus analogue, into the vessel wall over a period of 1 month.
    METHODS: In a randomized, double-blind trial, we compared the drug-coated stent with a very similar bare-metal stent in patients with a high risk of bleeding who underwent PCI. All patients received 1 month of dual antiplatelet therapy. The primary safety end point, tested for both noninferiority and superiority, was a composite of cardiac death, myocardial infarction, or stent thrombosis. The primary efficacy end point was clinically driven target-lesion revascularization.
    RESULTS: We enrolled 2466 patients. At 390 days, the primary safety end point had occurred in 112 patients (9.4%) in the drug-coated-stent group and in 154 patients (12.9%) in the bare-metal-stent group (risk difference, -3.6 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -6.1 to -1.0; hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.91; P<0.001 for noninferiority and P=0.005 for superiority). During the same time period, clinically driven target-lesion revascularization was needed in 59 patients (5.1%) in the drug-coated-stent group and in 113 patients (9.8%) in the bare-metal-stent group (risk difference, -4.8 percentage points; 95% CI, -6.9 to -2.6; hazard ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.69; P<0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Among patients at high risk for bleeding who underwent PCI, a polymer-free umirolimus-coated stent was superior to a bare-metal stent with respect to the primary safety and efficacy end points when used with a 1-month course of dual antiplatelet therapy. (Funded by Biosensors Europe; LEADERS FREE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01623180.).
  6. Sprigg N, Flaherty K, Appleton JP, Al-Shahi Salman R, Bereczki D, Beridze M, et al.
    Lancet, 2018 05 26;391(10135):2107-2115.
    PMID: 29778325 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31033-X
    BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid can prevent death due to bleeding after trauma and post-partum haemorrhage. We aimed to assess whether tranexamic acid reduces haematoma expansion and improves outcome in adults with stroke due to intracerebral haemorrhage.

    METHODS: We did an international, randomised placebo-controlled trial in adults with intracerebral haemorrhage from acute stroke units at 124 hospital sites in 12 countries. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 1 g intravenous tranexamic acid bolus followed by an 8 h infusion of 1 g tranexamic acid or a matching placebo, within 8 h of symptom onset. Randomisation was done centrally in real time via a secure website, with stratification by country and minimisation on key prognostic factors. Treatment allocation was concealed from patients, outcome assessors, and all other health-care workers involved in the trial. The primary outcome was functional status at day 90, measured by shift in the modified Rankin Scale, using ordinal logistic regression with adjustment for stratification and minimisation criteria. All analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN93732214.

    FINDINGS: We recruited 2325 participants between March 1, 2013, and Sept 30, 2017. 1161 patients received tranexamic acid and 1164 received placebo; the treatment groups were well balanced at baseline. The primary outcome was assessed for 2307 (99%) participants. The primary outcome, functional status at day 90, did not differ significantly between the groups (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·88, 95% CI 0·76-1·03, p=0·11). Although there were fewer deaths by day 7 in the tranexamic acid group (101 [9%] deaths in the tranexamic acid group vs 123 [11%] deaths in the placebo group; aOR 0·73, 0·53-0·99, p=0·0406), there was no difference in case fatality at 90 days (250 [22%] vs 249 [21%]; adjusted hazard ratio 0·92, 95% CI 0·77-1·10, p=0·37). Fewer patients had serious adverse events after tranexamic acid than after placebo by days 2 (379 [33%] patients vs 417 [36%] patients), 7 (456 [39%] vs 497 [43%]), and 90 (521 [45%] vs 556 [48%]).

    INTERPRETATION: Functional status 90 days after intracerebral haemorrhage did not differ significantly between patients who received tranexamic acid and those who received placebo, despite a reduction in early deaths and serious adverse events. Larger randomised trials are needed to confirm or refute a clinically significant treatment effect.

    FUNDING: National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme and Swiss Heart Foundation.

  7. Sprigg N, Flaherty K, Appleton JP, Al-Shahi Salman R, Bereczki D, Beridze M, et al.
    Health Technol Assess, 2019 Jul;23(35):1-48.
    PMID: 31322116 DOI: 10.3310/hta23350
    BACKGROUND: Tranexamic acid reduces death due to bleeding after trauma and postpartum haemorrhage.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess if tranexamic acid is safe, reduces haematoma expansion and improves outcomes in adults with spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).

    DESIGN: The TICH-2 (Tranexamic acid for hyperacute primary IntraCerebral Haemorrhage) study was a pragmatic, Phase III, prospective, double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial.

    SETTING: Acute stroke services at 124 hospitals in 12 countries (Denmark, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK).

    PARTICIPANTS: Adult patients (aged ≥ 18 years) with ICH within 8 hours of onset.

    EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Exclusion criteria were ICH secondary to anticoagulation, thrombolysis, trauma or a known underlying structural abnormality; patients for whom tranexamic acid was thought to be contraindicated; prestroke dependence (i.e. patients with a modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score > 4); life expectancy  4.5 hours after stroke onset. Pragmatic inclusion criteria led to a heterogeneous population of participants, some of whom had very large strokes. Although 12 countries enrolled participants, the majority (82.1%) were from the UK.

    CONCLUSIONS: Tranexamic acid did not affect a patient's functional status at 90 days after ICH, despite there being significant modest reductions in early death (by 7 days), haematoma expansion and SAEs, which is consistent with an antifibrinolytic effect. Tranexamic acid was safe, with no increase in thromboembolic events.

    FUTURE WORK: Future work should focus on enrolling and treating patients early after stroke and identify which participants are most likely to benefit from haemostatic therapy. Large randomised trials are needed.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN93732214.

    FUNDING: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 23, No. 35. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information. The project was also funded by the Pragmatic Trials, UK, funding call and the Swiss Heart Foundation in Switzerland.

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