Supplementary Material for: Triflusal and Aspirin in the Secondary Prevention of Atherothrombotic Ischemic Stroke: A Very Long-Term Follow-Up

<strong><em>Background:</em></strong> The mean follow-up in the clinical trials of antiplatelet drugs in the secondary prevention of ischemic atherothrombotic stroke ranges from 1 to 5.5 years. Thus, the safety and efficacy of these drugs in the very long term is not totally documented. We have assessed the safety and effectiveness of triflusal and aspirin for a very long-term period in the secondary prevention of patients with ischemic atherothrombotic stroke. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> Patients with atherothrombotic ischemic stroke, including TIA, who participated in randomized clinical trials of triflusal versus aspirin were included in the study. The period of recruitment was between 1983 and 1999. After finishing their participation in the clinical trials, patients were followed up in the Neurology Department of our hospital. All patients were treated with aspirin or triflusal during a mean period of 17.2 years. Groups were comparable with respect to sex, age, risk factor and etiology of the stroke. Adverse events and vascular events (including stroke recurrence, ischemic heart disease and vascular death) that appeared throughout the study were registered. Statistical analysis was performed using the statistical package SPSS 15.0 for Windows. Kaplan-Meier curves and the log-rank test were used to compare treatments. <b><i>Results:</i></b> A total of 441 patients (305 men) with a mean age (±SD) of 51.1 ± 12.4 years were included in the study; 288 patients (65.3%) were treated with triflusal and 153 with aspirin. There were no statistically significant differences between aspirin and triflusal concerning new vascular events (72.5 vs. 60.4%; p = 0.28), stroke recurrence (49.7 vs. 46.5%; p = 0.53), ischemic heart events (54.9 vs. 55.6%; p = 0.90), vascular death (25.5 vs. 24%; p = 0.73) and global mortality (42.5 vs. 42%; p = 0.92). The incidence of serious bleeding (upper digestive tract hemorrhage and cerebral hemorrhage) was 18.3% in aspirin-treated patients and 5.5% in triflusal-treated patients (p < 0.001). In reference to other adverse events, no significant differences were found between aspirin and triflusal. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> In the secondary prevention of ischemic stroke, very long-term treatment with triflusal or aspirin seems to have a similar efficacy, but triflusal is safer with a lower hemorrhagic risk. Triflusal may be an alternative therapy, particularly in patients who present aspirin resistance.