Objectives: This study sought to study stent thrombosis with the paclitaxel-eluting Taxus stent. Background: The incidence and timing of stent thrombosis after drug-eluting stent placement compared with bare-metal stent implantation remain unsettled, with consequent uncertainty about risk stratification and long-term recommendations for antiplatelet medications. Methods: This study used a patient-based meta-analysis using the 4 principal TAXUS randomized trials (3,445 patients) with a follow-up duration of ≥1 year. Results: Cumulative stent thrombosis occurred in 1.28% ± 0.31% in the Taxus group and 0.76% ± 0.23% in the bare-metal stent group at 3 years (hazard ratio 1.51 [95% confidence interval 0.73 to 3.14], p = 0.26). Hazard ratios (per 100 patients per 6 months) were similar between the Taxus stent group (0.59 [95% confidence interval 0.22 to 0.95]) and the bare-metal stent group (0.64 [95% confidence interval 0.26 to 1.02]) through 6 months during the prescribed clopidogrel period. However, from 6 months to 3 years there were more stent thromboses in the Taxus group (hazard ratio 0.19 [95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.32] vs. 0.02 [95% confidence interval 0.00 to 0.07], p = 0.049). Of 8 patients with Taxus-related thrombosis after 6 months, 0 were taking clopidogrel and 2 were not taking aspirin consistently. No Taxus-related stent thrombosis occurred after 2 years (922 patients thus far followed up for 3 years). Independent correlates of stent thrombosis were nonuse of clopidogrel, male gender, smoking, and possibly use of multiple nonoverlapping stents. Conclusions: Approximately 0.8% of Taxus patients have stent thrombosis in the first 6 months after stent implantation, similar to bare-metal stents. However, a modest increase in risk is present with Taxus stents beyond 6 months, possibly because of inadequate antiplatelet drug therapy.
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