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Thromb Haemost. 2008 Jan;99(1):161-8. doi: 10.1160/TH07-09-0562.

Functional impact of high clopidogrel maintenance dosing in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary interventions. Results of a randomized study.

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Division of Cardiology, University of Florida College of Medicine-Shands Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA.


The currently recommended maintenance dose of clopidogrel is often associated with inadequate platelet inhibition, suggesting the need for a higher dose. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the functional impact of a high (150 mg/day) maintenance dose of clopidogrel in patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This is a prospective, randomized, platelet function study which was performed in elective PCI patients assigned to treatment with either a 75 mg (n = 20) or 150 mg (n = 20) daily maintenance dose of clopidogrel for 30 days; afterwards, all patients resumed standard dosing. Platelet aggregation was performed using light transmittance aggregometry following 20 microM and 5 microM adenosine diphosphate (ADP) stimuli 30 days after randomization and 30 days after resuming standard dosing. Patients treated with 150 mg/day clopidogrel had lower 20 microM ADP-induced platelet aggregation compared to patients on 75 mg/day (52.1 +/- 9% vs. 64.0 +/- 8%; p < 0.001; primary endpoint). The dose-dependent effect was confirmed by the absolute and relative increase in platelet aggregation after resuming standard dosing (p < 0.001). No changes were observed in patients randomized to standard dosing. Parallel findings were observed following 5 microM ADP stimuli for all assessments. A broad variability in clopidogrel-induced antiplatelet effects was observed irrespective of dosing. In conclusion, a 150 mg/day maintenance dose regimen of clopidogrel is associated with reduced platelet reactivity and enhanced platelet inhibition compared to that achieved with the currently recommended 75 mg/day in patients undergoing elective PCI.

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