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1.  A Randomised Controlled Trial of Triple Antiplatelet Therapy (Aspirin, Clopidogrel and Dipyridamole) in the Secondary Prevention of Stroke: Safety, Tolerability and Feasibility 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(8):e2852.
Background
Aspirin, dipyridamole and clopidogrel are effective in secondary vascular prevention. Combination therapy with three antiplatelet agents might maximise the benefit of antiplatelet treatment in the secondary prevention of ischaemic stroke.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A randomised, parallel group, observer-blinded phase II trial compared the combination of aspirin, clopidogrel and dipyridamole with aspirin alone. Adult patients with ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) within 5 years were included. The primary outcome was tolerability to treatment assessed as the number of patients completing randomised treatment. Recruitment was halted prematurely after publication of the ESPRIT trial (which confirmed that combined aspirin and dipyridamole is more effective than aspirin alone). 17 patients were enrolled: male 12 (71%), mean age 62 (SD 13) years, lacunar stroke syndrome 12 (71%), median stroke/TIA onset to randomisation 8 months. Treatment was discontinued in 4 of 9 (44%) patients receiving triple therapy vs. none of 8 taking aspirin (p = 0.08). One recurrent stroke occurred in a patient in the triple group who was noncompliant of all antiplatelet medications. The number of patients with adverse events and bleeding complications, and their severity, were significantly greater in the triple therapy group (p<0.01).
Conclusions/Significance
Long term triple antiplatelet therapy was asociated with a significant increase in adverse events and bleeding rates, and their severity, and a trend to increased discontinuations. However, the patients had a low risk of recurrence and future trials should focus on short term therapy in high risk patients characterised by a very recent event or failure of dual antiplatelet therapy.
Trial Registration
Controlled-Trials.com ISRCTN83673558
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002852
PMCID: PMC2481397  PMID: 18682741
2.  Association between hormone replacement therapy and subsequent arterial and venous vascular events: a meta-analysis 
European Heart Journal  2008;29(16):2031-2041.
Aims
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that the risk of stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) is increased with hormone replacement therapy (HRT); the effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) remains unclear.
Methods and results
RCTs of HRT were identified. Event rates for cerebrovascular disease [stroke, TIA (transient ischaemic attack)], CHD (myocardial infarction, unstable angina, sudden cardiac death), and VTE (pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis) were analysed. Sensitivity analyses were performed by type of HRT (mono vs. dual) and subject age. 31 trials (44 113 subjects) were identified. HRT was associated with increases in stroke (odds ratio, OR, 1.32, 95% confidence intervals, CI, 1.14–1.53) and VTE (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.44–2.92). In contrast, CHD events were not increased (OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.90–1.11). Ordinal analyses confirmed that stroke severity was increased with HRT (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.12–1.54). Although most trials included older subjects, age did not significantly affect risk. The addition of progesterone to oestrogen doubled the risk of VTE.
Conclusion
HRT is associated with an increased risk of stroke, stroke severity, and VTE, but not of CHD events. Although most trials studied older patients, increased risk was not related to age. Combined HRT increases the risk of VTE compared with oestrogen monotherapy.
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehn299
PMCID: PMC2515884  PMID: 18599555
Hormone replacement therapy; Myocardial infarction; Randomized controlled trial; Stroke; Venous thromboembolism

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