The combination of AF and coronary artery disease not only is a common clinical setting, it is also a complex setting to deal with anticoagulation and antiplatelet therapy, and it is associated with significantly higher mortality rates. Unfortunately, there are no sufficient data available to optimally guide clinical practice in such settings. This review focuses specifically on newer oral anticoagulants (NOACs) associated with dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). There are no randomized studies comparing vitamin K antagonists and NOACs in patients with AF undergoing PCI either for acute coronary syndromes or for stable patients, i.e. those patients who have an indication to receive DAPT. Moreover, new antiplatelet agents such as ticagrelor and prasugrel have entered the market for acute coronary syndromes. So far, there are no large-scale randomized studies published evaluating these newer antiplatelet agents in patients with AF receiving either vitamin K antagonists or NOACs, adding to the uncertainty on how to use these antithrombotics in combination when both coronary artery disease (unstable or stable patients) and AF converge in a given patient. The lack of large outcome trials and the large number of possible combinations are reflected in the wide variety of practices in the real world. To date, given the lack of data, watchfulness when using NOACs as component of DAPT or triple oral antithrombotic therapy is warranted.
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Dual antiplatelet therapy
- Triple antithrombotic therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine