Safety and efficacy of colchicine in patients with stable CAD and ACS: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Document Type



Office of the Provost; Cardiology


Background: Evidence from recent trials has shown conflicting results in terms of the utility of colchicine in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: Multiple databases were queried to identify all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the merits of colchicine in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) or stable CAD. The pooled relative risk ratio (RR) of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), its components, and gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events were computed using a random-effect model.
Results: Ten RCTs comprising a total of 12,761 patients were identified. At a median follow-up of 12 months, there was a significantly lower risk of MACE [RR 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45-96], ACS (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.45-0.96), ischemic stroke (RR 0.42, 95% CI 0.22-0.81), and need for revascularization (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.42-90) in patients receiving colchicine compared with placebo. A subgroup analysis based on the clinical presentation showed that the significantly lower incidence of MACE and stroke were driven by the patients presenting with ACS. The use of colchicine in patients with stable CAD did not reduce the incidence of MACE (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.28-1.09), ACS (RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.25-1.08), or stroke (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.33-1.13). There was no significant difference in the relative risk of cardiac arrest, ACS, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality between the two groups in both ACS and stable CAD populations. The risk of GI adverse events was significantly higher in patients receiving colchicine (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.12-3.95).
Conclusion: In patients presenting with ACS, low-dose colchicine might reduce the incidence of MACE, stroke, and the need for revascularization at long follow-up durations. Colchicine might offer no benefits in reducing the risk of ischemic events in patients with stable angina.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs