De-escalating dual antiplatelet therapy in patients with acute coronary syndromes: the right strategy to harmonize time-dependent ischemic and bleeding risk in elderly patients?

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The European Society of Cardiology guidelines for myocardial revascularization state that de-escalation of P2Y12 inhibitor treatment guided by platelet function testing may be considered for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients deemed unsuitable for 12-month potent platelet inhibition. De-escalation strategy aim is to harmonize the time-dependency of thrombotic risk, which is high in the first month after ACS, then decreases exponentially, with bleeding risk, which tends to remain more stable after the procedure-related peak. Harmonizing time-dependency of clinical events may be particularly relevant in those at high risk, such as the elderly patients with ACS in whom an individualized antiplatelet therapy may be more appropriate than a ‘one-size-fits all’ approach. In this review, we outline the current medical evidence on the topic of dual antiplatelet therapy de-escalation. In addition, we include insights from the Elderly ACS 2 study and recently published post-hoc analyses conducted by the authors’ consortium, which further expands current knowledge.

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