Purpose of review
Despite being the subject of extensive research, the optimal antithrombotic therapy for patients on chronic oral anticoagulation (OAC) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent implantation is still unknown. This review presents the latest data regarding this much-debated topic.
Dual therapy, with clopidogrel (a P2Y12 inhibitor) and OAC, may be an alternative to triple therapy, which usually consists of aspirin and clopidogrel in addition to OAC, in terms of improving clinical outcomes in patients on chronic OAC following PCI with stent implantation. With the arrival of new, safer nonvitamin K antagonists oral anticoagulants (NOACs), the combination of NOAC and clopidogrel may also be an option for replacing triple therapy. In contrast to clopidogrel, combining the more potent P2Y12 inhibitors (prasugrel and ticagrelor) with OAC may only be considered in certain specific circumstances.
Patients on chronic OAC undergoing PCI with stent implantation require triple therapy. However, triple therapy is controversial, because it increases the risk of bleeding. With the introduction of prasugrel, ticagrelor and NOACs, the question arises which P2Y12 inhibitor to choose as part of the triple therapy regime and how NOACs combine with antiplatelet agents when treating patients undergoing PCI.