Aspirin resistance (AR) and clopidogrel resistance (CR) are terms used to describe a reduction in the medication's efficacy in inhibiting platelet aggregation despite regular dosing. This review gives context to the clinical role and implications of antiplatelet resistance in peripheral arterial disease (PAD).Methods
A review of English-language literature on AR and CR in PAD involving human subjects using PubMed and MEDLINE databases was performed in April 2017. A total of 2075 patients in 22 relevant studies were identified. To give this issue context, a review of the larger, more established literature on antiplatelet resistance in coronary disease was undertaken, identifying significant research associating resistance to major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs).Results
Studies in the coronary arterial disease literature have strongly associated antiplatelet resistance with increased MACE. Prevalence of AR or CR in coronary disease appears to be >55% for each in some studies. Meta-analyses of >50 studies revealed that AR and CR are significantly associated with MACE (relative risk of 2.09 and 2.8, respectively). This adds further weight to the literature reporting antiplatelet resistance as an independent predictor of and a threefold risk factor for major adverse cardiovascular events. The prevalence of resistance in PAD in this review was comparable to that in the coronary disease literature, with AR and CR prevalence up to 60% and 65%, respectively. There is evidence that the adverse effects of antiplatelet resistance are significant in PAD. In fact, research directly studying stent thrombosis populations with either coronary arterial disease or PAD revealed more significantly impaired platelet responsiveness to clopidogrel and aspirin in PAD compared with similar individuals with coronary disease. AR in PAD was found in studies to be a significant risk factor for iliofemoral stent reocclusion (P = .0093) and stroke in patients with symptomatic carotid disease (P = .018). CR was found to be a significant, independent risk factor in predicting ischemic outcomes in several recent PAD studies (P < .0001). Loss-of-function carriers of enzyme CYP2C19, important in clopidogrel metabolism, have a 30% greater risk of ischemic events (P < .001). Importantly, less antiplatelet drug resistance may be encountered with newer antiplatelet agents, including ticagrelor and prasugrel, because of reduced enzymatic polymorphisms.Conclusions
The limited research addressing AR and CR in PAD suggests that further research is required to clarify the role of platelet assays and potential for individualized antiplatelet therapy.