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June 25, 2019

Dual Antiplatelet Therapy: Is It Time to Cut the Cord With Aspirin?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Gill Heart and Vascular Institute, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington
JAMA. 2019;321(24):2409-2411. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.7025

Since evidence of increased risk of stent thrombosis with first-generation drug-eluting stents surfaced in 20051,2 and the US Food and Drug Administration advised interventional cardiologists to use dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) for 12 months following implantation of drug-eluting stents, the appropriate duration of DAPT has been widely studied and hotly debated. Dual antiplatelet therapy consists of concurrent administration of aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor. Determining the duration of DAPT requires a balance between 2 objectives: lowering the risk of ischemic events with more intense and longer antiplatelet therapy vs lowering the risk of bleeding events with less intense and shorter antiplatelet therapy. Because second-generation drug-eluting stents are associated with lower rates of stent thrombosis,3 the argument against longer DAPT was revisited. The updated guidelines incorporated such considerations by recommending a shorter duration of DAPT for selected patients, namely those with stable clinical status in whom risk of ischemic events is low.4,5

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