<h4>Background</h4>Approximately 18% of patients with atrial fibrillation undergo a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to treat coronary heart disease. Pharmacological anticoagulation in patients with atrial fibrillation and PCI involves a trade-off of potential ischemic and hemorrhagic complications.<h4>Methods</h4>This review is based on pertinent publications that were retrieved by a selective literature search, including current guidelines and recommendations.<h4>Results</h4>Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and a P2Y12 inhibitor protects against stent thrombosis, but not against thromboembolic stroke. In contrast, oral anticoagulation does provide effective prevention against stroke during atrial fibrillation. Combining DAPT with oral anticoagulation (triple therapy) over the long term, as has been recommended to date, carries an elevated risk of hemorrhage. In a randomized controlled trial, 44% of patients with atrial fibrillation receiving triple therapy sustained a hemorrhagic event, compared to 19.4% of patients receiving dual therapy. A meta-analysis has shown that clinically relevant hemorrhage is less common under combined treatment with one of the new oral anticoagulants (NOAC) and a single antiplatelet drug than under triple therapy including a vitamin K antagonist (hazard ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval 0.39; 0.80]), but no significant difference was found with respect to stent thrombosis, myocardial infarction, or overall mortality.<h4>Conclusion</h4>After coronary stent implantation, dual therapy with a NOAC and a P2Y12 inhibitor is recommended, subsequent to triple therapy given only during the peri-interventional period.
Dtsch Arztebl Int (Deutsches Arzteblatt international)
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