New-onset atrial fibrillation after recent coronary stenting: Warfarin or non-vitamin K-antagonist oral anticoagulants to be added to aspirin and clopidogrel? A viewpoint

Int J Cardiol. 2015 Oct 1;196:133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.06.006. Epub 2015 Jun 15.


The antithrombotic management of patients on oral anticoagulation (OAC), with either warfarin or non-vitamin K-antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs), undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention with stent (PCI-S) has been recently addressed in a joint European consensus document. In accordance, triple therapy (TT) of OAC, aspirin and clopidogrel should generally be given as the initial therapy. More uncertainty exists over whether warfarin or a NOAC should be added in patients already on dual antiplatelet therapy of aspirin and clopidogrel (DAPT) after recent PCI-S. Upon review of available data, it appears that the risk of major bleeding of TT as compared to DAPT is similar with either warfarin or a NOAC. In particular, TT consistently appears associated to an approximately 2.5 fold increase in the risk of major bleeding. Because of the higher convenience, NOACs might be considered the preferred OAC to be added to DAPT. Given the reported different safety profiles of the various NOACs on the incidence of major, and gastrointestinal, bleeding, the NOACs, and the dose, showing the greatest safety in this regard should be selected. In accordance, dabigatran 110 mg and apixaban 2.5mg twice daily appear as the most valuable options in patients who are not and who are respectively, at increased risk of bleeding. As an alternative, apixaban 5mg twice daily might be considered in patients at risk of bleeding not increased, whereas rivaroxaban 15 mg once daily may be considered in the presence of increased risk of bleeding (essentially when related to moderate renal impairment).

Keywords: Non-vitamin K-antagonist oral anticoagulants; Percutaneous coronary intervention; Stent; Triple therapy; Warfarin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use*
  • Antithrombins / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery*
  • Clopidogrel
  • Dabigatran / therapeutic use
  • Drug Combinations
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyridones / therapeutic use
  • Stents*
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control*
  • Ticlopidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ticlopidine / therapeutic use
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Antithrombins
  • Drug Combinations
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyridones
  • apixaban
  • Warfarin
  • Clopidogrel
  • Dabigatran
  • Ticlopidine
  • Aspirin