Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is required following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to prevent stent thrombosis. The optimal antithrombotic therapy following PCI for patients with an indication for long-term oral anticoagulation (OAC) is uncertain. DAPT and OAC, a combination known as ‘triple therapy’, reduces cardiovascular event rates but is associated with a substantial risk of bleeding. Recent data suggest that the duration of DAPT (and thereby triple therapy in those who also require OAC) can be limited to 1–3 months following newgeneration drug-eluting stent deployment, and that aspirin may be omitted from triple therapy, without increasing the rate of ischaemic cardiovascular events. The increasing use of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants and new antiplatelet agents (prasugrel and ticagrelor) has further complicated antithrombotic prescribing. This article aims to provide a summary of the evidence regarding antithrombotic therapy after PCI in patients who have an indication for OAC and to provide a framework to aid clinical decision-making in this area.
Sean Gallagher - Department of Cardiology, Barts Health NHS Trust
R Andrew Archbold - NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit, London Chest Hospital, London, UK