Duration of Triple Therapy in Patients Requiring Oral Anticoagulation After Drug-Eluting Stent Implantation: The ISAR-TRIPLE Trial

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Apr 28;65(16):1619-1629. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.02.050.


Background: Patients receiving oral anticoagulation (OAC) who undergo drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation require additional dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and clopidogrel. Such triple therapy confers an elevated bleeding risk, and its optimal duration is not known.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to evaluate whether shortening the duration of clopidogrel therapy from 6 months to 6 weeks after DES implantation was associated with a superior net clinical outcome in patients receiving concomitant aspirin and OAC.

Methods: In this randomized, open-label trial, we enrolled patients receiving OAC who underwent DES implantation at 3 European centers between September 2008 and December 2013. A total of 614 patients receiving concomitant aspirin and OAC were randomized to either 6-week clopidogrel therapy (n=307) or 6-month clopidogrel therapy (n=307). The primary endpoint was a composite of death, myocardial infarction (MI), definite stent thrombosis, stroke, or Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) major bleeding at 9 months.

Results: The primary endpoint occurred in 30 patients (9.8%) in the 6-week group compared with 27 patients (8.8%) in the 6-month group (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.14; 95% CI: 0.68 to 1.91; p=0.63). There were no significant differences for the secondary combined ischemic endpoint of cardiac death, MI, definite stent thrombosis, and ischemic stroke (12 [4.0%] vs. 13 [4.3%]; HR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.43 to 2.05; p=0.87) or the secondary bleeding endpoint of TIMI major bleeding (16 [5.3%] vs. 12 [4.0%]; HR: 1.35; 95% CI: 0.64 to 2.84; p=0.44).

Conclusions: Six weeks of triple therapy was not superior to 6 months with respect to net clinical outcomes. These results suggest that physicians should weigh the trade-off between ischemic and bleeding risk when choosing the shorter or longer duration of triple therapy. (Triple Therapy in Patients on Oral Anticoagulation After Drug Eluting Stent Implantation [ISAR-TRIPLE]; NCT00776633).

Keywords: aspirin; atrial fibrillation; clopidogrel; percutaneous coronary intervention; vitamin K antagonist.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Clopidogrel
  • Drug-Eluting Stents*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Ticlopidine / administration & dosage
  • Ticlopidine / adverse effects
  • Ticlopidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Clopidogrel
  • Ticlopidine
  • Aspirin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00776633