Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT ) is recommended up to 12 months in patients with acute coronary syndromes, but the risk of cardiovascular events in this group of subjects remains high, also in the long-term follow-up. The potential benefit of a prolonged period of DAPT has recently been assessed in three large-volume randomized clinical trials (PEGASUS, DAPT-MI, TRA2P-TIMI 50) but final results are quite difficult to interpret and clear indications for the clinical practice are so far lacking. A direct comparison of the three studies is challenging since relevant differences exist as to clinical features and risk profile of the study populations. Different anti-platelet drugs have been tested in addition to aspirin making it difficult to understand which antithrombotic regimen guarantees the best balance between thrombotic and haemorragic events. Finally, specific designs of these trials, evaluating complex composite end-points, may generate further difficulties in the interpretation of data. We believe that the use of total mortality rather than cardiovascular death as end-point, would better describe the long-term outcome incorporating the catastrophic consequences of bleeding. This review seeks to highlight strengths and weaknesses of these three large-volume trials and tries to establish whether or not prolonging DAPT beyond 12 months in patients with acute coronary syndromes is useful and which anti-thrombotic regimen would offer the best balance between thrombotic and bleeding risk.
- Acute coronary syndrome
- Antiplatelet therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine