The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40119-014-0030-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Use of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT; the combination of aspirin and an inhibitor of platelet P2Y12) is the key pharmacological component in the management of acute coronary syndrome and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent implantation, but the optimal treatment duration is still unclear. Although current guidelines recommend prescription of DAPT for at least 12 months after implantation of drug-eluting stents (DES) if patients are not at high risk of bleeding, several studies showed conflicting results. Observational studies have shown inconsistent findings (i.e., some studies suggested longer duration would be better, and others vice versa) and small-to-moderate sized randomized clinical trials suggested that prolonged use of DAPT beyond 12 months would not be more beneficial and could be detrimental in safety outcomes. However, these studies suffer from insufficient statistical power, data from old version of DES, and non-uniform duration of DAPT. Given there might be the relative risk and benefit associated with combination of DES use and DAPT prescription, the optimal decision making with regard to DAPT duration would be essential for patients who underwent PCI with DES. Thus, by understanding and comparing the evidences of recent studies that support for shorter and longer duration of DAPT, we sought to guide the treating physician in deciding optimal duration of DAPT in such patients. Up to now, there is no strong evidence supporting that longer duration of DAPT is better than shorter duration of DAPT in terms of efficacy and safety outcomes after DES placement.
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- Optimal Duration of Dual Antiplatelet Therapy After Implantation of Drug-Eluting Stents: Shorter or Longer?
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