Novel Oral Anticoagulant Based Versus Vitamin K Antagonist Based Double Therapy Among Stented Patients With Atrial Fibrillation: Insights From the PIONEER AF-PCI Trial

Circ Cardiovasc Interv. 2019 Nov;12(11):e008160. doi: 10.1161/CIRCINTERVENTIONS.119.008160. Epub 2019 Nov 11.


Background: Among stented patients with atrial fibrillation, double therapy with a novel oral anticoagulant plus single antiplatelet therapy (SAPT) reduces bleeding or cardiovascular rehospitalizations compared with a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) based triple therapy regimen. A recent study demonstrated that apixaban based double therapy reduced bleeding compared with VKA based double therapy. However, it remains unknown whether rivaroxaban based double therapy is superior to a VKA based double therapy.

Methods: Patient with stented atrial fibrillation (n=2124) were randomized to 3 groups: rivaroxaban 15 mg od plus a P2Y12 inhibitor (Group 1, n=709); rivaroxaban 2.5 mg bid plus dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT; Group 2, n=709); and warfarin plus DAPT (Group 3, n=706). Before randomization, subjects were stratified according to a prespecified duration of DAPT (1, 6, or 12 months). After the prespecified DAPT duration, subjects in Group 2 were switched to rivaroxaban 15 mg plus low dose aspirin, and those in Group 3 were switched to VKA plus low dose aspirin. The Wei, Lin, and Weissfeld time to multiple events method was used to compare the occurrence of all bleeding and cardiovascular rehospitalizations among subjects on a novel oral anticoagulant versus VKA based double therapy.

Results: A total of 906 subjects were prespecified to a 1 or 6 months DAPT duration and received at least one dose of study drug. Twenty subjects (3.3%) assigned to novel oral anticoagulant+SAPT, and 15 (5.1%) subjects assigned to VKA+SAPT experienced multiple rehospitalizations. In total, 124 (20.3%) events occurred among subjects on novel oral anticoagulant+SAPT compared with 87 (29.6%) among subjects on VKA+SAPT (hazard ratio=0.65 [95% CI, 0.45-0.93], P=0.008).

Conclusions: Among stented patients with atrial fibrillation, rivaroxaban plus SAPT was superior to warfarin plus SAPT in lowering total bleeding and cardiovascular rehospitalization.

Clinical trial registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT01830543.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation; percutaneous coronary intervention; rivaroxaban; vitamin K; warfarin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / administration & dosage*
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation / drug therapy*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Readmission
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / adverse effects
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention / instrumentation*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Risk Factors
  • Rivaroxaban / administration & dosage*
  • Rivaroxaban / adverse effects
  • Stents*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin K / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Warfarin / administration & dosage*
  • Warfarin / adverse effects


  • Anticoagulants
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Vitamin K
  • Warfarin
  • Rivaroxaban

Associated data