To determine the relationship of high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and the efficacy and safety of dual antiplatelet therapy in patients with and without intracranial arterial stenosis (ICAS) in the Clopidogrel in High-Risk Patients with Acute Non-disabling Cerebrovascular Events (CHANCE) trial.Methods
A subgroup of 807 patients with both magnetic resonance angiography images and hsCRP measurement was analyzed. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the interaction of hsCRP levels with the effects of dual and single antiplatelet therapy.Results
A total of 358 (44.4%) patients had ICAS and 449 (55.6%) did not. The proportion of patients with elevated hsCRP levels was higher in the ICAS group than in the non-ICAS group (40.2% vs 30.1%, p = 0.003). There was significant interaction between hsCRP and the 2 antiplatelet therapy groups in their effects on recurrent stroke after adjustment for confounding factors in the patients with ICAS (p = 0.012), but not in those without (p = 0.256). Compared with aspirin alone, clopidogrel plus aspirin significantly reduced the risk of recurrent stroke only in the patients with ICAS and nonelevated hsCRP levels (adjusted hazard ratio 0.27; 95% confidence interval 0.11 to 0.69; p = 0.006). Similar results were observed for composite vascular events. No significant difference in bleeding was found.Conclusions
Presence of both ICAS and nonelevated hsCRP levels may predict better response to dual antiplatelet therapy in reducing new stroke and composite vascular events in minor stroke or high-risk TIA patients. Further large-scale randomized and controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm this finding.