Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

DAPT for ≤3 months after PCI effective and safe in high bleeding risk patients

Dual antiplatelet therapy duration after percutaneous coronary intervention in high bleeding risk: a meta-analysis of randomized trials

Literature - Costa F, Montalto C, Branca M, et al. - Eur Heart J. 2022 Dec 7;ehac706. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac706.

Introduction and methods


The optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor, such as clopidogrel or ticagrelor, after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is an extensive topic of debate in high bleeding risk patients. Because clinical features related to high bleeding risk are also associated with the risk of ischemic events, maintaining the balance between the bleeding and ischemic risk is challenging in these patients [1,2]. International guidelines favor a conservative approach in terms of treatment duration after PCI in high bleeding risk patients [3-5]. In this group of patients, shortening DAPT to 6 months has previously been shown to reduce the risk of bleeding without an increase in ischemic events [6]. More recent studies have examined whether a treatment duration of 1 or 3 months is also sufficient [7,8].

Aim of the study

The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of abbreviated DAPT versus standard DAPT after PCI in high bleeding risk patients, using available evidence from RCTs.


In accordance with the PRISMA guideline, the investigators conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs comparing the efficacy and safety of abbreviated DAPT (≤3 months) with standard DAPT (≥6 months) after PCI in patients with a high bleeding risk – defined as a PRECISE-DAPT score ≥25 – without indication for oral anticoagulation. Several online databases (PubMed, Embase, BioMedCentral, Google Scholar and Cochrane Centers Register of Controlled Trials) were searched for relevant RCTs with a minimum follow-up of 12 months, the results of which had been published in the period January 1, 2000-October 31, 2021. A total of 11 RCTs, including 9006 high bleeding risk patients, were identified.


The key outcomes were the occurrence of major or clinically relevant non-major bleeding (MCRB) and major cardiovascular events (MACE) up to 12 months after PCI. Separate analyses were performed for the 2 different definitions of MACE, namely, (a) all-cause death, myocardial infarction or stroke (MACE1); and (b) cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction or stroke (MACE2). In addition, major bleeding, fatal bleeding, net adverse clinical events (NACE), all-cause death, cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and stent thrombosis were examined.

Main results


This systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs shows that in high bleeding risk patients, abbreviated DAPT (≤3 months) after PCI is associated with lower cardiovascular death and a lower rate of major bleeding and MCRB, without increasing the rate of ischemic events, compared with standard DAPT (≥6 months).

The authors conclude: “A one-month or 3-month DAPT courses after PCI appears an appealing treatment option in HBR patients to optimize out comes. Further studies are warranted to determine how to individualize the decision between 1- and 3-month DAPT and the role of single antiplatelet therapy after DAPT.”


Show references

Find this article online at Eur Heart J.

Share this page with your colleagues and friends: