The management of antiplatelet therapy in patients with coronary stents undergoing surgery is a growing clinical problem and often represents a matter of debate between cardiologists and surgeons. It has been estimated that about 4-8% of patients undergoing coronary stenting need to undergo surgery within the next year. Surgery represents one of the most common reasons for premature antiplatelet therapy discontinuation, which is associated with a significant increase in mortality and major adverse cardiac events, in particular stent thrombosis. In addition, surgery confers an additional risk of perioperative cardiac ischemic events, being high in these patients because of the pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic effects of surgery. Current international guidelines recommend to postpone non-urgent surgery for at least 6 weeks after bare metal stent implantation and for 6-12 months after drug-eluting stent implantation. However, these recommendations provide little support with regard to managing antiplatelet therapy in the perioperative phase in case of urgent operations and/or high hemorrhagic risk. Furthermore, ischemic and hemorrhagic risk is not defined in detail on the basis of clinical and procedural characteristics. Finally, guidelines shared with cardiologists and surgeons are lacking. The present consensus document provides practical recommendations on the management of antiplatelet therapy in the perioperative period in patients with coronary stents undergoing surgery. Cardiologists and surgeons contributed equally to its creation. An ischemic risk stratification has been provided on the basis of clinical and procedural data. All surgical interventions have been defined on the basis of the hemorrhagic risk. A consensus on the most appropriate antiplatelet regimen in the perioperative phase has been reached on the basis of the ischemic and hemorrhagic risk. Dual antiplatelet therapy should not be withdrawn for surgery at low bleeding risk, whereas aspirin should be continued perioperatively in the majority of surgical operations. In the event of interventions at high risk for both bleeding and ischemic events, when oral antiplatelet therapy withdrawal is required, perioperative treatment with short-acting intravenous glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors (tirofiban or eptifibatide) should be considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine