Conference Coverage

SUGAR trial finds superior stent for those with diabetes and CAD

Superiority shown on TLF endpoint



Designed to show noninferiority for treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with diabetes, a head-to-head comparison of contemporary stents ended up showing that one was superior to the for the primary endpoint of target lesion failure (TLF).


In the superiority analysis, the 35% relative reduction in the risk of TLF at 1 year for the Cre8 EVO (Alvimedica) stent relative to the Resolute Onyx (Medtronic) device reached significance, according to Rafael Romaguera, MD, PhD, an interventional cardiologist at the Bellvitge University Hospital, Barcelona.

At 1 year, the rates of TLF were 7.2% and 10.5% for the Cre8 EVO and Resolute Onyx stents, respectively. On the basis of noninferiority, the 3.73% reduction in TLF at 1 year among those receiving the Cre8 EVO device provided a highly significant confirmation of noninferiority (P < .001) and triggered the preplanned superiority analysis.

When the significant advantage on the TLF endpoint (P = .03) was broken down into its components, the Cre8 EVO stent was linked to numerically lower rates of cardiac death (2.1% vs. 2.7%), target vessel MI (5.3% vs. 7.2%), and target lesion revascularization (2.4% vs. 3.9%), according to the SUGAR (Second-Generation Drug-Eluting Stents in Diabetes) trial results presented at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics annual meeting, held virtually and live in Orlando and sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

In a previous study comparing these devices, called the ReCre8 trial, the rates of TLF in an all-comer CAD population were similar at 1 year. When an updated 3-year analysis was presented earlier in 2021 at the Cardiovascular Research Technologies meeting, they remained similar.

Diabetes-centered trial was unmet need

The rationale for conducting a new trial limited to patients with diabetes was based on the greater risk in this population, according to Dr. Romaguera. He cited data that indicate the risk of major adverse cardiac events are about two times higher 2 years after stent implantation in patients with diabetes relative to those without, even when contemporary drug-eluting stents are used.

Both the Cre8 EVO and Resolute Onyx stent are drug eluting and employ contemporary architecture that provides the basis for marketing claims that they are suitable for complex patients; but they have differences.

“There are three features that I think differentiate the Cre8 EVO stent,” Dr. Romaguera reported at the meeting, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

One is the absence of polymer, which contrasts with the permanent polymer of the Resolute device. This feature affects the dissolution of the anti-inflammatory drug and might be one explanation for the greater protection from ischemic events, according to Dr. Romaguera.

Another is the thickness of the struts, which range from 70 to 80 mm for the Cre8 EVO device and from 92 to 102 mm for the Resolute Onyx device. In experimental studies, strut thickness has been associated with greater risk of thrombus formation, although it is unclear if this modest difference is clinically significant.

Also important, the Cre8 EVO device employs sirolimus for an anti-inflammatory effect, while the Resolute Onyx elutes zotarolimus. Again, experimental evidence suggests a greater anti-inflammatory effect reduces the need for dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT); that might offer a relative advantage in patients with an elevated risk of bleeding.

It is not clear whether all of these features contribute to the better results observed in this trial in diabetes patients, but Dr. Romaguera indicated that the lower risk of TLF with Cre8 EVO is not just statistically significant but also clinically meaningful.

In SUGAR, which included 23 centers in Spain, 1,175 patients with confirmed diabetes scheduled for percutaneous intervention (PCI) were randomized to one of the two stents. The study was purposely designed with very few exclusion criteria.


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