Dual versus triple antithrombotic therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention or acute coronary syndrome in patients with indication for anticoagulation: an updated meta-analysis

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BackgroundFor patients who have an indication for anticoagulation, it is controversial whether dual therapy with an oral anticoagulant and single antiplatelet agent can be used after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or acute coronary syndrome (ACS) instead of triple therapy with an oral anticoagulant and dual antiplatelet therapy.Participants and methodsTwelve observational studies and four clinical trials were identified from three electronic databases from their inception to December, 2017. Pooled estimates were calculated using a random-effects model for meta-analysis.ResultsCompared with the triple therapy, dual therapy was associated with significantly lower risk of major bleeding [relative risk (RR), 0.63; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.50–0.80] without statistically significant increase in major adverse cardiac events (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.84–1.29), all-cause death (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.77–1.71), cardiac death (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.67–1.61), myocardial infarction (RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.98–1.59), stroke (RR, 1.27; 95% CI, 0.79–2.06), stent thrombosis (RR, 1.52; 95% CI, 0.96–2.41), and repeat revascularization (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.87–1.52). Although risks of myocardial infarction and stent thrombosis were marginally higher in the dual therapy group, this trend was attenuated after excluding studies that exclusively included patients undergoing PCI for ACS, but not stable coronary artery disease.ConclusionDual therapy may be a reasonable alternative to triple therapy after PCI in patients with indication for chronic anticoagulation. However, further studies are needed to investigate efficacy of dual therapy, especially in the patients with higher ischemic risk, such as in ACS.

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