Vardi, M., Debidda, M., Bhatt, D. L., Mauri, L., Cannon, C. P. Evolving antithrombotic strategies in patients with atrial fibrillation undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: results from a survey among US cardiologists Clin Cardiol. 2014;37(2):103-7.

BACKGROUND: Many patients treated with oral anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation undergo percutaneous stent implantation, where dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is also recommended. The current evidence to support triple oral antithrombotic therapy (TOAT) in these patients is limited, and new strategies are being discussed to optimize outcomes. HYPOTHESIS: There will be variation in antithrombotic strategies in patients with atrial fibrillation needing stenting.

METHODS: We surveyed US-based cardiologists serving as clinical investigators in academic sites and posted an online "question of the month" on cardiosource.org.

RESULTS: Seventy-five (10.7%) responses were received to the email survey and 119 to the online question. Bare-metal stenting (BMS) was a priori preferred over drug-eluting stenting (DES) for 50.6% of patients. Only 8.8% of the responders chose newer anticoagulants in addition to DAPT as the preferred oral anticoagulant. For duration of TOAT, 79.4% of physicians recommended stopping DAPT at 1 month when BMS was used in patients presenting without acute coronary syndrome (ACS) vs 57.4% in patients with ACS. In patients implanted with a DES, 73.5% and 76.5% preferred stopping DAPT at 6 to 12 months (no ACS vs ACS, respectively). When asked which of the 2 antiplatelet agents they would recommend stopping after the above durations, 50% chose to quit aspirin.

CONCLUSIONS: The survey highlights an interest in the new strategy of dropping aspirin, but the lack of concrete evidence triggers undesired diversity in clinical approaches. High-quality data on the efficacy and safety of such interventions are needed to further consolidate these approaches.