A randomized clinical trial comparing long-term clopidogrel vs aspirin monotherapy beyond dual antiplatelet therapy after drug-eluting coronary stent implantation: Design and rationale of the Harmonizing Optimal Strategy for Treatment of coronary artery stenosis-Extended Antiplatelet Monotherapy (HOST-EXAM) trial

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Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has been developed by drug-eluting stent (DES), but stent implantation has brought the issue of stent thrombosis and optimal antiplatelet therapy. Guidelines recommend at least 6- to 12 months of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with aspirin and a P2Y12 receptor inhibitor such as clopidogrel. Beyond DAPT after PCI with DES, however, there has been still a debate for antiplatelet regimen. Therefore, we report on the upcoming HOST-EXAM trial (NCT02044250), which will evaluate the efficacy and safety of aspirin and clopidogrel monotherapies beyond DAPT after DES implantation.

Trial design

The HOST-EXAM is a prospective, randomized, open-label, multicenter, comparative effectiveness trial, to compare between clopidogrel (75 mg once daily) and aspirin (100 mg once daily) as long-term antiplatelet agents. A total of 5,530 patients with no clinical events during combined antiplatelet therapy for 12 ± 6 months after index PCI will be screened, enrolled, and randomized to either group (1:1 ratio) receiving antiplatelet monotherapy for 2 years. The primary endpoint will be the rate of clinical events defined as a composite of all-cause death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, readmission due to acute coronary syndrome, or major bleeding at 24 months after randomization.


The HOST-EXAM will be the first large-scale randomized controlled study to directly compare the efficacy and safety of long-term antiplatelet monotherapy beyond DAPT after DES implantation. This study will provide clinical evidence to establish optimal regimen for long-term antiplatelet therapy after DES implantation.

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