Optimal duration and combination of antiplatelet therapies following percutaneous coronary intervention: a meta-analysis

Vascul Pharmacol. 2021 Jun;138:106858. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2021.106858. Epub 2021 Mar 19.


Introduction: The ideal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is still unknown. In this meta-analysis, we aimed to compare very short-term (1-3 months), short-term (6 months), standard-term (12 months) and long-term (>12 months) DAPT durations for efficacy and safety.

Methods: Overall DAPT comparisons were classified as "any shorter-term"/"any longer-term" DAPT. The primary outcome was a composite of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE: non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke and cardiovascular death). The primary safety outcome was major bleeding.

Results: Twenty-six studies comprising 103.394 patients were included. Compared with standard-term DAPT duration, very short-term DAPT duration with subsequent drop of aspirin (RR 1.06, 95% CI, 0.95-1.18, p = 0.26) or drop of the P2Y12 inhibitor (RR 0.92, 95% CI, 0.72-1.16, p = 0.47) was not associated with a higher risk of MACE. Any longer-term compared with any shorter-term DAPT durations led to a significantly lower risk of MACE (RR 0.88, 95% CI, 0.81-0.96, p = 0.002), but a significantly higher risk of BARC 3-5 major bleeding events (RR 1.63, 95% CI, 1.22-2.17, p = 0.001). In the ACS subgroup receiving prasugrel or ticagrelor but not clopidogrel, any longer-term DAPT duration was associated with a significantly lower risk of MACE compared to any shorter-term DAPT duration (RR 0.84, 95% CI, 0.77-0.92, p = 0.0001).

Conclusion: DAPT may be shortened to 1-3 months in patients with low ischemic but high bleeding risk followed by aspirin or P2Y12 monotherapy. Prasugrel or ticagrelor based DAPT may be extended to >12 months in case of high ischemic and low bleeding risk.

Prospero registration no: CRD42020163719.

Keywords: Aspirin; Clopidogrel; Dual antiplatelet therapy; P2Y(12) inhibitor; Prasugrel; Ticagrelor.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Dual Anti-Platelet Therapy
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Ischemia / mortality
  • Ischemia / prevention & control*
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / adverse effects
  • Percutaneous Coronary Intervention* / mortality
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors